Inauguration of ASKI-AusAid Agri Center for ASKI-SKI youth carapreneurs

Select aspiring youth carapreneurs from the Alalay sa Kaunlaran Incorporated (ASKI) Skills and Knowledge Institute (SKI) are set to manage the ASKI-AusAid Agri Center that was inaugurated last January 22 in Talavera, Nueva Ecija.

The construction of the building was funded by the Australian Government and is intended for the processing, packaging, and marketing of products from carabao’s milk. The DA-PCC had already entrusted dairy carabaos to the ASKI-SKI for the said initiative and the agency will also serve as one of the sources of milk that will be processed in the center.

Launching of Kadiwa Buffalo Milk on Wheels

As an alternative to the lack of marketing outlets for dairy products due to the prevailing lockdown, the DA-PCC launched the Kadiwa ni Ani at Kita (Kadiwa) Buffalo Milk on Wheels (BMW). The mobile store ensures the availability and accessibility of buffalo’s milk to more consumers while serving as a marketing facility for the dairy farmers’ produce.

Opening of Ruminant Research Clinic

Farmers can now have their livestock animals checked anytime with the opening of the DA-PCC Ruminant Research Clinic (RRC) at the Livestock Biotechnology Research and Animal Facility (LBRAF) compound in Saranay, San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.

The RRC will tend to carabaos, cows, sheep, and goats. Its services include consultation, diagnosis, treatment and preventive medical services, and surgery, among others.

Launching of DA-PCC ALPAS COVID-19 projects

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) ushers sustainable carabao-based livelihoods to vulnerable communities through projects aligned with the DA’s “Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra COVID-19” (ALPAS COVID-19) efforts.

This in line with its objective of mitigating the impact of the health crisis among its assisted farmers. DA-PCC implements this in four project components: Creating Opportunities Through Value Innovations and Development (COVID), Unlad Lahi Project (ULaP), Gatas, Gulay, at Karne (GGK), and Cara-Aralan.

Consulting Services for Extension and Advisory Services Information System (EASIS)

In pursuing its vision of modernizing and improving further its extension and advisory service (EAS) delivery to its clientele, the DA-PCC through its Knowledge Management Division (KMD) entered into a technical consultancy services contract with Grameen Foundation to work on the Phase 1 of a 30-month project titled “Consulting Services for Extension and Advisory Services Information System (EASIS)”.

In general, the EASIS aims to enhance the dairy production management capacity of local dairy buffalo farmers in Nueva Ecija (the pilot site) through information and communications technology (ICT)-enabled EAS modality. The modality is envisioned to provide two main functionalities: (1) a content delivery tool or CDT (learning videos) and (2) a quick response tool or QRT (mobile application for timely interaction or two-way communication between the field extension technicians or knowledge brokers and the DA-PCC national headquarters).

Phase I of the EASIS Project produced five leaning videos on calf management, feeding management, health management, silage production, and hygienic milking which were uploaded to DA-PCC’s FB page and YouTube channel.

Development of new products: Milkybun, Milk Pops, and Nyogurt

The unsold milk produce from select farmers’ cooperatives was collected and developed by the Carabao Enterprise Development Section (CEDS) into nutrient-rich products labeled as Milkybun and Milk Pops.

By the end of March, the DA-PCC CEDS came up with the Milk Pops, which are sweet, soft, and chewy flavored pastillas balls. A pack of this candy-like treat contains 10 pieces of 4-gram balls. It has six flavors: melon, honeydew, strawberry, chocolate, mango, and blueberry.

In the same period, the CEDS released the Milkybun, a revival of the NUTRIBUN made more nutritious with fresh carabao’s milk. It could be equated to a glass of carabao’s milk and could be included as an alternative meal/food commodity for feeding program.

Meanwhile, Nyogurt (a portmanteau of “niyog” and yogurt) first developed in UPLB way back 1980s-1990s, is good for digestion, and has calcium and protein. Nyogurt’s variants are plain, strawberry, kiwi, and blueberry.

Implementation of the DepEd-led milk feeding program under RA 11037

Led and implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd), the DA-PCC joins the effort in the nationwide School-Based Feeding Program (SBFP) pursuant to Republic Act No. 11037 also known as the “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act”, by linking DepEd to the suppliers of milk from participating dairy buffalo cooperatives.

2020 Sire Directory featuring genomic semen donor bulls

The 2020 Sire Directory features the first four (4) genomic semen donor bulls (Lucas, Edu, Donald, Dexter) to be made available to the clients and buffalo farmers. These bulls have been shortlisted from a list of candidates evaluated based on conventional multi-trait random regression test day model for genetic evaluation and subjected to genotyping using the Axiom Buffalo Genotyping Array by Affymetrix, Inc. utilizing 90,000 SNP markers. DA-PCC is looking at the future wherein the progeny testing that normally takes 8 years will be shortened to 3 years by genomic prediction and with an even higher accuracy of breeding value prediction. Genomic selection of bulls is a result of a three-year DOST-PCAARRD funded project. These four genomically tested bulls are also proven carriers of genes attributed to high milk production. They are born out of PCC’s elite milking buffalo cows producing 3,000 kg of milk per lactation, equivalent to an average of 10 kg of milk production per day for 10 months of lactation.

Furthermore, DA-PCC is making available the first semen donor bull “Lakas”, selected as a result of four generations continuous backcrossing of swamp buffalo crossbred cows to riverine bulls. This bull is recommended for use on crossbred cows and for fattening operation, together with two other featured bulls known to produce calves with excellent growth rate.

Partnership with DA-Philippine Coconut Authority on Coconut-Carabao Development Project

Coconut farmers can have additional income under a farming system integrated with dairying. This was made possible following the signing of a memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC) and the DA-Philippine Coconut Authority (DA-PCA) on the Coconut-Carabao Development Project (CCDP). The CCDP aims to augment the income of coconut farmers through the carabao-based enterprise.

Under the CCDP, the DA-PCC will implement initiatives with the assistance of DA-PCA. Such interventions include entrustment of animals, establishment of processing facilities through provision of equipment or supplies, establishment of market outlets, capacitation of value chain players, coordination with stakeholders, and monitoring and evaluation.

Inauguration of Milkybun Production Center

The DA-PCC together with the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and Catalanacan Multipurpose Cooperative (CAMPC) officially inaugurated the Milkybun Production Center and signed the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) for the Milkybun Project in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

The newly inaugurated processing center, which is under the management of CAMPC, will be used for the mass production of Milkybun.

It will also be an avenue for the processing of farmers’ milk produce, training facility for aspiring carapreneurs, and additional source of income for the co-op, among others.

Counterparting in the project are DA-PCC for the processing (raw materials), baking utensils and supplies, marketing support, and trainings; DAR for the machineries and equipment; CAMPC for the processing and labor; and San Miguel Foundation Inc. for free sacks of flour.

Development of Buro Booster

Local farmers can now feed their dairy animals with improved quality silage using the Buro Booster Silage Inoculant (BBSI) developed by DA-PCC’s Production Systems and Nutrition Section. This is on top of lesser spoilage during ensiling, which means higher silage yield.

The BBSI was introduced to farmer-members of Lupao Corn Farmers Association (LCFA) last August 13 in Lupao, Nueva Ecija.

The inoculant is an additive to corn, sorghum or grass silage. It contains Lactobacillus plantarum bacteria, which enhances lactic acid fermentation hence improving silage quality and minimizing possible spoilage.

Virtual Technology Commercialization and Pitch Demo

Innovative technologies from the DA-PCC are set to further the livestock industry as the said breakthroughs will be cascaded to broader masses. Technology pitches include A2 Choice, Prolipig, Blockmate, Nyogurt, QuickCare, Buro Booster Silage Inoculant, Verisire, Enriched Rice Straw (e-RS), Milkybun, and Milkpops.


Support to DSWD-led milk feeding program

  • The DSWD, as supported by the DA-PCC, has begun a 120-day milk feeding program. According to Republic Act No. 11037, also known as “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino,” the DSWD is mandated to implement a supplementary feeding program (SFP) to address undernutrition among children (ages 2-5 years) currently enrolled in day care centers or Supervised Neighborhood Play (SNP) groups by incorporating fresh milk and fresh milk-based food products in hot meals. The DSWD collaborated with the DA-PCC to connect them with local dairy producers and cooperatives where milk could be obtained.

Kardeli carabao meat products

  • Kardeli is a combination of the words carabao (meat) and delicacy. The brand embodies the nutritious and natural farm fresh goodness of meat products sourced from ethically raised carabaos in an environmentally sound and sanitary production system.

Kardeli carabao meat and meat products are part of the DA-PCC’s Meat Development Program, as implemented by the Product Development and Innovation Section (PDIS), Animal Breeding and Genomics Section (ABGS), Production Systems and Nutrition Section (PSNS), and Carabao-based Enterprise Development Section (CEDS). The project includes sub-programs and activities such as breeding, feeding, quality meat product development, and business development.

New Leadership

  • On June 9, Dr. Liza G. Battad took her oath of office before DA Secretary Dar. She was appointed after Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, who had served as executive director for more than six years, retired. She had previously served as the DA-PCC’s chief administrative officer and planning officer.

Distribution of sterilized canned carabao’s milk  for the DepEd-led milk feeding program

  • Following the distribution of sterilized canned milk with an extended shelf life, more undernourished children from far-flung and remote areas in Luzon can now benefit from local carabao’s milk (from seven days to six months).

The Aurora Schools Division Office (SDO) piloted the distribution, with the Licaong Agriculture Cooperative (LAC), one of the DA-PCC-assisted cooperatives in Luzon, as the supplier.

Pilot Gatasang Kalabaw Convergence Project funded by the Enhanced Partnership Against Hunger and Poverty (EPAHP) Program.

  • The IATF-Zero Hunger Program Chair and Cabinet Secretary Hon. Karlo Alexei B. Nograles oversees the EPAHP Pilot Gatasang Kalabaw Convergence Project.

The project’s goal is to create viable enterprises along the buffalo value chain that will provide farmers and members of community-based organizations with additional income. It also aims to increase the amount of locally produced milk available to the National Feeding Program in proposed pilot areas in Regions I, VI, and IX. Finally, the project is expected to contribute to the achievement of the Zero Hunger Program and EPAHP Program objectives through the convergence of government services in collaboration with private sector partners, as well as the provision of immediate social preparation and intervention.

Declaration as National Livestock Cryobank

  • Through the National Livestock Cryobank (NLC) facility, ex situ or offsite conservation and management of animal genetic resources (AnGR) pave the way for sustainable genetic diversity of livestock species in the country.

Dr. William Dar, Secretary of Agriculture, signed a memorandum circular on the National Livestock Cryobanking Program’s implementing guidelines months after leading the unveiling of the NLC facility marker, which serves as a national repository of germplasm and biological samples from various livestock species.

The NLC will contribute to the advancement of research for development (R4D) projects involving ex situ cryoconservation of animal genetic resources (AnGR) from various livestock species for conservation, management, and utilization, ultimately leading to sustainable animal production systems.

These efforts are intended to preserve the genetic diversity of livestock species such as buffalo, cattle, and goats in the country, as well as to provide a source of genetics for farmers, livestock breeders, and other interested clients.

Digitalization of DA-PCC’s extension services

  • To ensure that its knowledge products are accessible to a wider audience, the DA-PCC launched its Knowledge Portal (or simply K-Portal), which serves as a hub or one-stop e-platform for all knowledge products (in various formats) produced by the agency’s Knowledge Management Division (KMD).

The DA-PCC also launched a Virtual Tour of the agency’s national headquarters in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, through the KMD, which not only shows a glimpse of what it’s like to visit the DA-PCC facilities but also provides useful information about water buffalo production and associated technologies.


National GAHP Certification of DA-PCC at CSU’s Institutional Herd

  • The institutional herd facilities of DA-PCC at CSU is the first government-owned farm to receive a certificate of compliance for Good Animal Husbandry Practices (GAHP).

GAHP is a set of principles and minimum requirements for commercial or backyard rearing of farm animals for human consumption. The code’s goals are to ensure food safety and quality, protect and promote animal welfare, promote farm worker health and safety, and support environmental management.

For the past six years, the agency has held ISO 9001:2015 Certification compliant to management system and is also the first government livestock research agency certified compliant to Animal Welfare Act (AWA).

Registration of DA-PCC developed intellectual properties with IPO Philippines

  • The DA-PCC has adhered to the Intellectual Property Office of the Philippines’ policies in strengthening the protection of IP rights in the country, upholding innovation, and boosting production, use, protection, and respect of intellectual property.

The DA-PCC currently has 5 patent applications, 20 utility models, and 13 registered trademarks, including Dairy Box, VeriSire, A2Choice, Prolipig, Buro Booster, Nyogurt, QuickCare, BlockMate, Kardeli, and Karabun.

Carabao Industry Roadmap

  • The Carabao Industry Roadmap complements the One DA Reform Agenda by focusing on transformative interventions that will aid in the consolidation, modernization, industrialization, and professionalization of Philippine agriculture. It is an all-inclusive, stakeholder-crafted, market-driven master plan. It is intended to help farmers increase their income, create jobs, and increase the number of carabaos in the Philippines so that they can become self-sufficient.

It is a five-year plan aimed at accelerating herd growth, increasing the productivity and profitability of carabao-based enterprises, ensuring the availability of safe and high-quality milk and meat products from genetically improved carabaos, and capitalizing on the niche market for carabao-derived products.

Piloting and rolling out of KBGAN (Knowledge Brokerage, Guidance, and Advisory Network) iHealth and KBGAN iFeed mobile apps

  • The KBGAN iHealth app was designed to assist extension officers (EOs) and field veterinarians in diagnosing carabao health conditions and diseases and providing farmers with actionable recommendations. The application will evaluate and present potential health issues, as well as recommend actions that farmers can take to improve the health of their carabao/s.

To facilitate easy information sharing, EOs can forward and send the appropriate interventions to farmers via SMS. The application will also collect information about the farmers and their carabaos to allow for historical analysis.

  • The KBGAN iFeed app was developed to assist nutritionists, EOs, vet aides, and farmers in calculating the appropriate and least expensive feed composition for proper nourishment and optimum milk production of dairy buffaloes. The application will also load data from the online system on the Suggested Retail Price (SRP) of feed ingredients.

Launching of the DA-PCC’s Knowledge Booth

  • Through its Knowledge Booth, you can learn about the DA-PCC profile, banner program, and latest technology outputs.

The Learning Events and Coordination Section of the DA-PCC’s Knowledge Management Division (KMD) initiated and conceptualized this one-stop information shop, which also serves as a showroom for carabao’s milk and meat products as well as the latest technology products developed by its research and development team.

The Knowledge Booth contains educational and exploratory materials, including a 3D infographic miniature that details the milk and meat value chain diagram from production, collection, processing, and marketing of value-added dairy and meat products. It also includes various showcase walls for the DA-PCC’s Carabao Development Program, publications and other knowledge products, as well as the agency’s carabao industry goal and roadmap for 2022-2026.