“Nakita mi ti kinapintas na!”
This Ilocano phrase, which means, “Nakita namin kung gaano kaganda!” was how farmers in the recent Cara-Ugnayan regarded the Carabao Development Program (CDP) of the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) of which they are active participants.
Cara-Ugnayan is a knowledge management platform of the DA-PCC’s Knowledge Management Division (KMD) that aims to strengthen the agency’s reportage by engaging with the local media and LGU-SUC partners.
“We see a very important role that the local media takes on when it comes to not only disseminating information that could benefit a multitude more of our farming communities but also helping our progressive farmers tell their stories of success,” Dr. Eric Palacpac, KMD Chief, said.
The identified farmer representatives were Rolly Mateo, chairperson of the Bantog Samahang Nayon Multi-Purpose Cooperative; Annalyn Tade, manager of the Rosario Dairy Farmers Cooperative; and Freddie Ledda, vice-president of the Team Naguilian Dairy Raisers Association.
Mateo shared how the dairy enterprise multiplied their co-op’s capital from 10,000 to a million pesos. BSNMPC is actively engaged in sustainable enterprise with its participation in the milk feeding program led by the Department of Education. Similarly, Tade said that the income generated by their cooperative’s dairy business enabled them to purchase a site to expand their operation. The same story applies to Ledda, who attested to his family’s increased income after they began dairying.
On the LGU counterpart, Ramsey Mangaoang, a former sangguniang bayan member and chair of the Committee on Agriculture in Aringay, La Union, expressed his appreciation for the DA-PCC’s carabao program and mentioned that it is an important component of the municipality’s development agenda. He said that there is a need for alternative livelihoods for farmers in the locality and the carabao enterprise is one of them. With this, Mangaoang hopes to intensify a provincial ordinance that will replicate the carabao enterprise in the province.
During the media forum, some of the questions and topics discussed were the bull entrustment program, milk feeding program, and PLGU and LGU’s support programs for carabao development, among others.
The Cara-Ugnayan is slated to be continued in the other regional centers in Visayas and Mindanao in the second semester of this year.