S&T-based farm project boosts dairy farmers’ profitability

Four related technologies, implemented by the Philippine Carabao Center in certain villages in Nueva Ecija, are seen as a big booster for the dairy farmers’ profitability.

These technologies are use of “milk replacer”, “flushing of buffaloes” and use of “portable milking machine” and “communal cooling facility”.

These technologies were done involving 16 farmers and 18 heads of buffaloes. They belonged to three different cooperatives: Angat-Buhay Dairy Producers Cooperative, Licaong Dairy Producers Cooperative in the Science City of Muñoz and Eastern Producers Multi-Purpose Cooperative in San Jose City.

The S&T-based Farm technologies are described as very simple and easy to follow.

Through “flushing”, the mother and its developing fetus are provided with better nutrition. The calving interval by the dam is shortened and its milk production is increased. The method is done by giving the pregnant buffalo 3 to 4 kilograms of concentrates daily during the last months of pregnancy up to 2 months after giving birth.

“Flushing” assures the farmer-owners of three calving seasons in four years for their dam thus giving them a bonus of additional calf produced from

shortened calving interval. They also tend to benefit from the extra income of at least P40, 000 from the sale of calf and additional milk produced in 120 days that “flushing” is employed.

Another technology endorsed by the S&T project is the use of “milk replacer”, a guaranteed profitable method ensuring the farmer of lesser expenses in feeding and management of newly-born calf.

The “milk replacer” technology is feeding the calf with diluted powdered milk as a substitute to the dam’s milk. It helps the calf to gain weight comparably with the mother’s milk without harming its health.

The diluted powdered milk is given immediately after the calf has consumed the colostrum (first milk) during the first five days after birth.

The calf that feeds from the mother carabao can consume 4 liters of milk everyday at P32 per liter, this totals to P128 compared to the expense of P100 per calf per day using the “milk replacer”.

In three months of calf rearing, the farmer can earn an additional P2,520 per calf.

When it comes to proper milk collection and storage, the use of “portable milking machine” and “communal freezer” is advised. This technology makes possible twice a day milking compared to the traditional way of milking once a day.

The portable milking machine is a double bucket type of unit that can serve two animals at the same time and is an effective facility in collecting buffalo’s milk. It eliminates the possibility of contaminating the milk during milking process. The “communal freezer” on the other hand, assures farmer of extended buffalo milk’s shelf-life and freshness. By using this equipment the twice-a-day milking will be a lot easier.

The added returns of using this machine will give farmers additional volume of milk of 150 liters a month. Thus in every lactation period of 10 months, the farmer can get extra income of P48, 000 per cow. The technology also improves the milk quality because it lessens the risks of contamination. In effect, it increases the milk price of P2 per liter.

Each unit of portable milking machine costs P58,000.

These technologies were presented and discussed during the S&T-based Farm Project Farmers’ Field Day last Nov. 7 at Brgy. San Ricardo, Talavera, Nueva Ecija, homebase of the Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperative (Nefedcco).

The recipients referred to as “Magsasaka Siyentista”, presented each of the “kwento and kwenta” derived from the technology implementations.
Mr. Marcelino Mislang discussed the process and benefits of “flushing”, while Ms. Belinda Parugrug explained how “portable milking machine and communal freezer” are used. She shared how these technologies benefited their cooperative, the Angat-Buhay MPC.

On the other hand, Engr. Jaime Ramos of Talavera, enlightened the farmers on actual demonstration of calf milk feeding using the “milk replacer” and machine milking done in his farm.

Dr. Daniel L. Aquino, head of the PCC Nutrition Unit, and study leader of this project, said that the S&T-based Farm Project helps farmers manage their buffaloes properly, and gives guaranteed positive effects in terms of animal productivity and profitability.

The project was funded by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCARRD-DOST). It aimed to encourage farmers to engage in an integrated buffalo management system where they can have additional income and an assurance for a brighter dairy buffalo industry.

Ovum Pick-up Technology discussed in updates’ forum

Updates on Ultrasound-guided Ovum Pick-up also known as OPU Technology, were presented to the technical staff during the monthly gathering.

Dr. Peregrino G. Duran, head of the PCC Genepool presented how OPU plays an important and promising role in speeding-up the production of superior water buffaloes.

The forum was held at the PCC Mini Theater last Oct. 14. The activity aims to update technical employees and other units of PCC about the recent development and researches attained.

Dr. Duran, attended training on reproductive biotechnology at Animal Reproduction Institute, Guangxi University and Guangxi Buffalo Research Institute in Nanning, Guangxi Province, China from June 1 to August 29, 2009. The training provided him additional knowledge and hone his skills on the recent technologies on buffalo reproduction.

As explained by Dr. Duran, OPU Technology is a technique where oocytes (immature eggs) are collected from the follicles in the ovaries by aspiration (sucking) using ultrasound guidance through the vaginal wall. These oocytes are then matured in the laboratory for 24 hours then fertilized and cultured for seven days before being transferred to prepared recipients or frozen for use at a later date. The technology aims to retrieve repeatedly Cumulus Oocytes Complex (COC’s) from animals of high genetic merit to generate large number of calves with known production traits and shorten the generation interval in breeding programs.

Highlighted in Dr. Duran’s presentation was the observance of how OPU is conducted in China. It gave a description on how the laboratory equipment, quality of the donor animal, OPU operation in terms of manpower, procedure, animal chute, OPU site, its efficiency, IVP system, and embryo transfer were used for OPU.

Issues that might occur during OPU were also addressed in the presentation.

Dr. Duran said, PCC has adopted the OPU Technology. He said he has plans and programs applying what he learned from the training calculated to enhance current practices, consistent with the agency’s penultimate goal of

uplifting the lives of rural farmers by providing them with a better source of income through carabaos that produce more milk and meat.

2 PCC research papers win AFMA R&D Paper Awards

Two PCC research papers recently won in the 21st National Research Symposium (NRS) conducted by the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), Department of Agriculture (DA) last October 8 to 9.

The research papers were “Intensifying Village-level Carabao-based Dairy Cooperative Enterprise Development in Non-Traditional Dairy Communities” and “Reverse Transcription Loop-Mediated Isothermal Amplification (RT-LAMP) for Rapid Screening of Bull Semen for Foot-and-Mouth Disease Virus Infection”.

They bagged the Best AFMA R&D Paper Award and 2nd Runner-Up in the Development and Basic Research categories, respectively.

The first paper which was on development research, was authored by Dr. Liza G. Battad with Wilma T. del Rosario, Sonia D. Pol, Arline M. del Barrio, Honorato N. Baltazar, and Maricel C. Gonzaga as co-authors.

The second, a basic research paper, was authored by Dr. Rubigilda C. Paraguison and co-authored by Dr. Clarissa Yvonne J. Domingo, and Dr. Ester B. Flores.

The paper of Dr. Battad’s team presented the impressive growth of the dairy economy in Nueva Ecija triggered by the impact zone template that provided an integrative system of convergence and collaboration of the many stakeholders in the dairy industry.

It also demonstrated the feasibility of buffalo dairying in non-traditional dairy communities as evidenced by the increasing incomes of smallhold farmers, cooperatives and other participants of the dairy chain.

Dr. Battad and her team won a cash incentive of P50,000 aside from a certificate given by DA-BAR Director Nicomedes P. Eleazar and Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap. Dr. Battad is PCC’s chief for Planning and Special Projects.

Dr. Paraguison’s team, on the other hand, won a cash prize of P20,000 and a certificate.

Their paper demonstrated the simplicity of the RT-LAMP technique for the rapid and safe screening of FMD virus. One of the strategies presented in their paper was the sample testing of semen with suspected FMD virus infection that proved the reliability of the technique.

Last year, two of Dr. Paraguison’s research papers won third place and finalist in the NRS.

PCC executive director Dr. Libertado Cruz commended the research teams for winning in the NRS. In his congratulatory remarks, he said that researches must be done with speed, efficiency, and accuracy.

He added that research is very important especially in this time of global competitiveness.

The annual NRS aims to recognize significant research results that contribute to the achievement of goals in the agriculture sector.

Anchored to the objectives of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA), DA-BAR continues to resolve challenges in poverty, food security, and climate change concerns through strong support to viable research studies and adaptation of results on how these global challenges can be addressed.

Staff re-tooled for Advanced MS Excel

The PCC Genetic IProgram (GIP) spearheaded 4-day in-house training in Advanced Excel last September 30-October 3. The training was held at the PCC Eusebio Hall.

It was conducted primarily for the younger staff to enhance skills in data handling/management, focused on how to process and generate huge amount of records to maintain a good records’ management system.

Mr. Ricky Bolanio, outsource person of Statistical Research and Training Center (SRTC), was the resource speaker. He is also a Computer Instructor.

Dr. Ester B. Flores, head and proponent of the training said she saw the need to learn new techniques on database management. She added that Advanced Excel has an important feature on how to facilitate faster record retrieval as well as improving office productivity and efficiency which aid in timely submission of reports.

A total of 25 participants who were from the different divisions of PCC attended the training. It was a hands-on training wherein the participants were asked to bring their own computer/laptop.

The attendees, when asked, said they found the training very timely due to the increased volume of workloads related to the expanded mandate of PCC. They look forward, they said, to having or attending more training that will speed up and improve their performance.

PCC conducts Social Preparation Training for Trainers

Coordinators for Luzon of the PCC Carabao-based Enterprise Development (CBED) Program gear up for the arrival soon of 2,000 heads of buffaloes from Brazil through a three-day Social Preparation Training (SPT) for Trainers.

The training was conducted from October 14 to 16, 2009 at the PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool (NHGP) in the Science City of Muñoz.

Through the SPT, the CBED coordinators were primed to have a common dispersal scheme for the imported buffaloes which are to be entrusted only to qualified farmer-recipients.

The SPT specifically aimed to develop a common understanding on the CBED framework among CBED coordinators, enhance their capability to conduct SPT to select smallhold farmers in preparation for the arrival of the 2,000 buffaloes and other dairy buffalo modules to be created, and draw out best techniques in the conduct of SPT.

The participants were likewise trained to have a socio-economic development mindset which will engage them to be proactive frontliners in the development of carabao-based enterprises in their respective areas of concern.

The SPT was conducted in line with PCC’s recognition of the importance of capacitating its workforce to be able to fast-track efforts of transforming smallhold farmers to be entrepreneurs.

“It was a collective effort to fast-track our purpose of helping farmers generate their own income by assisting them toward entrepreneurship,” PCC executive director Dr. Libertado Cruz said.

He added, “PCC is neither AI nor bull loan program; the PCC program is to develop enterprises for the greater stake of smallhold farmers.”

Dr. Cruz said that after the SPT, the partners in the industry are expected to strengthen capabilities because PCC will definitely have a hard time reaching its goals without its able partners.

The methodologies used in the training included problem-solving, experience-sharing and interaction between lecturers and participants, and practicum or demonstration.

The participants’ exercise included a mock SPT using the SPT manual and training materials in front of their co-participants who will acted as the farmer-applicants. Through this activity, weak areas in the delivery of SPT was improved and a uniform SPT presentation was developed.
The 18 participants to the training were from the PCC networks at CLSU, UPLB, DMMMSU, CSU, MMSU, NIZ, and NHGP. The resource persons and facilitators were from the PCC NHGP and PCC at UPLB.

Dr. Cruz commended the Operations Group, the implementing unit for the conduct of the said training course, led by Dr. Anabelle Sarabia for being a strong core group responsible for making the important end goals of PCC realized.

DEW project reinvigorates PCC workforce

PCC currently engages in establishing a culture of commitment for excellence at work.

Every Monday, PCC’s core workforce attends seminar-workshop on Developing Excellence at Work (DEW).

It started last October and winds up June next year.

The DEW Project, which gets inspiration from “dew” that refreshes and reinvigorates, aims to establish a culture where there is a passionate commitment to excellence characterized by high productivity, full engagement and inspired leadership.

The participants are inspired to build teamwork and develop edifying values. It also encourages participants to identify personal and social factors that hinder the fulfillment of the corporate vision, mission, and core values, among others.

The Project implements four modules. They specifically address character, skills for self improvement, spiritual foundations, and relationships.

The strategies for teaching and learning include multi-media lecture presentation, video presentation, and small-group discussion.

An office atmosphere that empowers every worker is developed at the end of the project.

Also expected is a work area in which conflicts within and between divisions are reduced, a division-based conflict management system is established, a system of accountability is created between workers and officials, and a greater commitment to PCC operational goals is imbibed by the PCC workforce.

Religious-inspirational speaker Dr. Ronnie D. Domingo, who is based in the Science City of Muñoz, serves as the mainstay lecturer in the duration of the DEW project.

Buffalo Milk: The “Udder Cola”

One of the major concerns of our society
today is malnutrition, a problem that generally
occurs in children up to their adolescent period.
The primary cause is nutritional deficiency due
to limited intake of the required nutrients. Too
often, the diet of children is one-sided; they may
be eating a reasonable quantity of food but the
quality may not be sufficient to meet their daily
nutrient requirements. Moreover, these children,
once they reach a certain age, tend to replace the
milk they consume with cola and other
commercial drinks that have less or limited
nutritive value.

In addressing malnutrition, introduction o
milk can be one of the best options.
Nutritionally, milk is defined as almost perfect
food. It provides more essential nutrients in
significant amount than any single food. As a
matter of fact, it is the only food that has all the
nutrients that the newly-born infant requires.
And even beyond the suckling period, milk is the
most complete food for human beings and
mammals. It is also the best food supplement
and source of calcium for children and adults.

The buffalo milk or commonly known as
carabao’s milk can be of great help in eradicating
malnutrition. Nutrient-wise, it is better
compared with the array of cola and other
commercial drinks in the market. These liquids,
while designed and packaged in attractive colors
and shapes, do not help provide important
dietary requirements.

In drinking buffalo milk we are not only
getting the needed nutrients for our bodies but
we are also supporting our local dairy industry.
Presently, our country imports 98% of our
milk and other dairy product requirements. For
this, our country spends around US0 million
annually, making milk the top 4th agricultural
import. Supporting the local dairy industry will
help our country in saving precious foreign
exchange being spent for milk and dairy product
importations. There are now provinces and
towns in our country which are into buffaloraising
and producing regular supply of buffalo
milk as a health alternative. One of these is the
province of Nueva Ecija. At present, the dairy
cooperatives in the province produce 1,200 to
1,400 liters of buffalo milk daily.

Why is it better to drink buffalo milk? It is
considered as the finest milk among dairy
animals and almost at par with human milk. Like
any other milk it can be consumed anytime. It is
a totally natural product that can be derived
from the udder of lactating buffalos. Regarding
its acceptability, buffalo milk has already been
consumed around the world for thousands of

Normally, fresh buffalo milk is very white in
color and beautifully smooth. It has a bland,
slightly sweet taste and it can be the best healthy
alternative for the young and adults.
Comparatively, buffalo milk has 58% more
calcium, 40% more protein and 43% less
cholesterol compared with cattle milk.

Significantly, the cholesterol content of buffalo
milk is 0.65 mg/g as compared to the
corresponding value of 3.14 mg/g for cattle

In drinking 100 grams of buffalo milk and in
eating its milk by-products, the following substance
can be derived as compared with other type of
dairy milk.

Buffaloes Milk
Cows Milk
Goat’s Milk
Vitamin C(mg)
Vitamin B12(mg)

Today, a variety of buffalo milk byproducts
are already available to suit even the
picky taste of the consumers along with their
nutrition, health and convenience demands.

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) has
taught many farmers’ families to add value on
the raw buffalo milk by producing different
flavors of pastillas de leche (milk candy), fruitflavored
milk (lacto juice), chocolate-flavored
milk and “green” milk, which has a hint of
malunggay flavor.

Many other dairy products such as Gouda
cheese, cottage cheeses (ricotta and the
traditional kesong puti or white cheese),
mozzarella cheese, butter, ice cream and yogurt
were also developed and disseminated either
through demonstration or training to interested

individuals. In fact, the best mozzarella cheese is
made out of buffalo milk. For those who are
diet-conscious, pasteurized buffalo milk and its
milk by-products are also available with low-fat

The health benefits of milk, yogurt and
cheeses go even beyond bone health. Milk
products can reduce the risk of several diseases.
It can also contribute to the maintenance of
good intestinal health. Other benefits of milk
are: it can be an effective aid in reducing risk of
heart attack and high-blood pressure. It is also
beneficial in fighting cavity and strengthening
our teeth. Regular intake of milk can also lower
the risk of colon cancer and diabetes. Milk is
also one of the best alternatives for the
prevention of osteoporosis and kidney stones.

S&T Boosts Top N. Ecija Dairy Coop’s Operation

Increasing milk production and improving milk quality continue to challenge dairy coops in the country.However, Angat Buhay Producers Cooperative (ABPC), a dairy coop in Calabalabaan, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija proved this can be easily done through infusion of Science and Technology (S&T). The ABPC applied S&T into the four interrelated components of the milk chain which are: production, collection, storage, processing and marketing.
First, it focuses on the use of flushing method in feeding pregnant and lactating buffaloes. Flushing method is done during the last month of pregnancy up to three months after giving birth. Expectedly, this method results into better nutrition, improved calving interval and increased milk yield. This approach covers three calving seasons within the span of four years which aims to generate additional income of at least PhP30, 945.00 from milk alone. This does not include yet the peso value of additional one calf resulting from shortened calving interval compared with the traditional method.

Second, is the feeding of milk replacer to the newly born calf. This means giving the newly born calf with a commercial milk substitute instead of the dam’s milk. This is immediately done one week after birth when the calf has consumed its dam’s first milk commonly known as colostrum.Third, is working on the viability of a village communal system using portable milking machine and common milk cooling facility. This will encourage “twice a day milking” instead of the traditional “once a day milking”.

Through this S&T Based Farm Project, ABPC helps put in place a communal milking parlor equipped with portable milking machine. Moreover, a milk cooling tank along with stainless milk pails were also acquired.

The portable milking machine is a double bucket type that can accommodate two animals at a time while the milk cooling tank has 200 liters capacity. Using this equipment, milking the buffaloes at dawn and dusk in barangay Calabalabaan will be a lot easier.

Belinda Parugrug, chair of ABPC said that the reason they choose to engage in the S&T project is because of the challenges in maintaining milk quality. The problem is attributed to manual milking where the risk of contamination is high. Meanwhile, the increase in number of animals per member which caused difficulty in milking will also be addressed.

As a result, Parugrug affirmed that they’ll be expecting additional equipment as the project’s commitment to them, and training in operating this equipment particularly the milking machine. (With reports from Nur M. Baltazar, Sonia D. Pol, Maricel C. Gonzaga)