DA-PCC launches Feed and Forage Development Project in Mindanao

The DA-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) has initiated the implementation of the Feed and Forage Development Project Technology Roll-out in Mindanao. This endeavor commenced with the ceremonial turnover of forage choppers at D&L Dairy Farm in M’lang, North Cotabato, on September 28.

The project’s primary objective is to ensure a consistent supply of feed for the growing carabao population in the country. It aims to promote sustainable carabao-based farming by encouraging the adoption of PCC technologies.

Director Benjamin Basilio of DA-PCC at USM stated, “Apart from introducing our farmers to innovative approaches in carabao-based farming through technology adoption, I am confident that this initiative will address the issue of low carabao productivity caused by inadequate feeding management.”

During the turnover ceremony, farmers from cooperatives supported by DA-PCC at Mindanao Livestock Production Complex (DA-PCC at MLPC), DA-PCC at Central Mindanao University (DA-PCC at CMU), and DA-PCC at the University of Southern Mindanao (DA-PCC at USM) actively participated in hands-on demonstrations on ensiling with Buro BoosterTM, enhanced rice straw (e-Rs) processing, and BlockMateTM production.

Ernesto Buco, a farmer-participant from Baclay Multipurpose Cooperative in Zamboanga, emphasized that the project mechanizes the production of silages suitable for animal feed. This development ensures farmers’ preparedness during climate phenomena like El Niño.

This project, funded through PL 480, aims to empower approximately 200 carapreneurs across the nation. Its key components include organizing learning events, such as technical training on forage and feeding practices, mentor-mentee mentorship programs, and the provision of forage choppers to selected carapreneurs.

In the mentor-mentee mentorship program, DA-PCC is expected to impart knowledge, techniques, and skills to mentees, covering aspects such as the establishment and management of forage areas with improved and cultivated grass species, pasture rehabilitation through enhanced soil management, forage/feed conservation (ensiling process), and demonstrations on the application of feed conservation technologies such as Buro BoosterTM and e-Rs. Additionally, starter kits containing planting materials and BlockMateTM are provided.

Basilio emphasized, “To ensure proper animal nutrition, participants must fully comprehend and apply the training and feeding management procedures.”

100 carabaos star in San Agustin, Isabela’s ‘Nuang’ Fest

Dubbed the ‘Home of Nuang Festival,’ the town of San Agustin in Isabela province preserved the spirit of its long-standing tradition as 100 of its finest crossbred carabaos paraded its streets on September 27, 2023.

The parade was one of the highlights of San Agustin’s twin celebrations, the “18th Nuang Festival” and the “74th Araw ng San Agustin” (Foundation Day).
‘Nuang’ is an Ilocano term for carabao. Cesar Mondala, municipal mayor of San Agustin, compared the hard-working trait of carabao to the people of the town.

“If we imitate the buffalo’s positive traits, our community will continue to prosper,” Mayor Mondala said.
The increasing number of crossbred carabaos in San Agustin has been made possible through the continuous effort of the town’s local government unit to harness artificial insemination (A.I.) as a strategy to steadily build up its base of improved carabao breed.

Thousands of the town’s carabao owners partnered with the DA-PCC and various agencies and entities for the government-led crossbreeding program.

Engr. Blas Lamug, retired municipal agriculturist of San Agustin and now serving as the chairperson of the SADACO Multi-Purpose Cooperative (SMPC) expressed his gratitude to the town leaders and to DA-PCC for the unfailing support in improving the dairy industry in San Agustin.
With the implementation of the Carabao-based Business Improvement Network (CBIN) program, funded by the Office of the Senate Committee on Agriculture, and the continuous carabao upgrading program of the DA-PCC, a significant increase in carabao population in nearby Quirino and Nueva Vizcaya is seen manifested by the establishment of two processing and marketing facilities as development support for the dairy farmers.

The community has a tradition of holding competitions every year, recognizing the “best” among the animals in the following categories: Best Milking Cow, Best Cara-cao (inahin), Best Draft (male), Best Talent, and Best Dressed (female).

On the other hand, a cooking contest using carabao’s milk or meat as the main ingredient also took place at the town’s auditorium.

The owners of the winning carabao crossbreds and winning recipe received cash prizes. The farmers who participated in the parade, likewise, were given PHP500 each as an incentive.

DA-PCC officials also took part in the event. They were Ma. Theresa Sawit, national coordinator of Carabao-based Enterprise Development Program (CBED); Romulo Salas, CBED coordinator of DA-PCC at Cagayan State University (DA-PCC at CSU); Prof. Franklin Rellin and Edelina Rellin, former Center Director and former Senior Science Research Specialist of DA-PCC at CSU, respectively.