Livestock Development Focus: Dairy Buffalo

The Department of Agriculture issued a policy statement that its livestock development program will focus on dairy buffalo as the basic resource for buffalo-based dairy enterprises, which have been shown in the PCC National Impact Zone and Regional Impact Zones to be effective sources of new jobs, increased income and better nutrition for rural farm families.

In February, the PCC Molecular Genetics Laboratory (MGL) was established for mapping molecular markers on buffaloes that will help in identifying genes that are of economic interest. Relative to this, three technical staffs were sent to lowa State University in Ames, lowa on September to participate in a short-term training on Animal Genomics and Molecular Biology Techniques.

In October, efforts on technical cooperation were started with the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) in regard to the implementation of a project on increasing the efficiency of the livestock industry through institutionalized genetic improvement system. This led to the deployment of six Korean overseas volunteers (KOVs) for one-year collaboration with PCC counterparts in the fields of Livestock Genetics, Dairy Nutrition, Animal Breeding and Health Management, Farm Mechanization, and Software Development and Data Analysis.


PCC as the Lead Agency in Livestock Biotechnology

DA Administrative Order No. 9 was issued designating PCC as lead entity in the Department of Agriculture network to hasten the Genetic Improvement Program (GIP) in ruminants using reproductive and gene-based biotechniques. This new mandate recognizes PCC’s capability in livestock biotechnology, having the basic facilities and the technical expertise for such an undertaking.

Funding support under the PL480 facility was secured to strengthen PCC as the DA’s Livestock Biotechnology Center. This funding put in place needed facilities and equipment as well as human resource development opportunities related to livestock biotechnology.

Encouraging Volunteerism through KOICA-KOV Program

Collaboration with KOICA was expanded and further strengthened with the dispatch of 12 Korean Oversees Volunteer (KOVs), all from Hankyong National University (HNU), to PCC. A total of 38 KOVs were deployed to PCC until 2011 for immersion and to share knowledge on animal husbandry, milk processing, data management, and product development. Each KOV served a year at the PCC regional centers and cooperatives, resulting in technical assistance to buffalo-based smallholder farmers.

Tanglaw Award

PCC was recognized as Tanglaw Award’s “Most Outstanding Research Institution” during the observance of the 36th anniversary of the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD).

The agency is acknowledged for its commitment to research and development on enhancing technologies that conserve, propagate and promote the carabao as a source of milk and meat as well as draft animal power for the benefit of small-holder farmers. PCC provides leadership in national animal biotechnology program focused on increasing the genetic quality of breeding animals.


Expanded Collaboration with KOICA for Enterprise Development

As a gesture for continuing partnership, the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) sponsored the participation of 12 PCC key officials to a 24-day international course in dairy development and animal husbandry technology in South Korea.

Relative to KOICA collaborative agreement, the 36th batch of the KOICA-KOV program was turned over in September 8, 2009. This batch comprised 14 Korean Oversees Volunteers (KOVs) deployed in four PCC regional centers (PCC at UPLB, PCC at CSU, PCC at DMMMSU, and PCC at CLSU). Some were deployed in the National Impact Zone (NIZ) and in PCC’s Planning and Special Projects Division (PSPD).

In December, KOICA extended financial assistance through the KOV Batch 36 project at the NIZ and PCC at UPLB. Specifically, the fund provided for two homogenizers for the Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperatives (NEFEDCCO) and General Trias Dairy Raisers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (GTDRMPC) in Cavite.

Infusion of Genetic Materials for Dairy Buffaloes

A total of 2,000 riverine-type Murrah buffaloes from Brazil were selected by the GIP team during the fourth quarter of 2009. The animals were successfully delivered to PCC on the second week of January of the following year.


Launching of the International Buffalo Knowledge Resource Service (IBKRS)

The IBKRS is a web-based electronic source of information on selected quality researches on water buffalo. This facility consolidates, organizes and disseminates all available international refereed, peer-reviewed and published journal articles on buffalo, as selected from the best publishers’ websites. Launched during the PCC’s 18th anniversary in March, IBKRS provides extensive information related to breeding and genomics, reproduction, health and nutrition, dairy technologies, and socio-economics.

PCC-KOICA Collaboration for Genetic Improvement

The records of discussion (ROD) regarding the formal initiation of a US$3 million grant-in-aid project on “Enhancing Livestock Sector Performance in the Philippines” by the Korean Government were signed by representatives of the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) on November 5.

The project features include establishment of a web-based genetic information system, enhanced propagation of superior animals through reproductive biotechniques, improvement of the PCC National Bull Farm and Semen Laboratory, and cryobanking.

Competency enhancement for PCC scientists on breeding, genomics, bioinformatics, DNA-based techniques and related fields were also provided.

Expansion of Incubator Modules for the NIZ

Incubator modules for dairy buffalo-based enterprises were expanded through funding from the Japanese government’s KR2 program.