New facilities to boost dairy buffalo semen production

The newly inaugurated bull farm and semen processing laboratory of the Philippine Carabao Center at University of the Philippines, Los Banos (PCC at UPLB) are expected to hasten dairy herd build-up in the country.

The new facilities, which feature state-of-the-art equipment, have been put up by PCC in support of its Carabao Upgrading Program (CUP) and at the same time to serve as a venue for research and technology development whose outputs are intended to benefit smallholder dairy farmers and their families.

Hosted by the Animal Dairy Sciences Cluster of the UPLB College of Agriculture, the bull barn and semen processing laboratory of PCC at UPLB were inaugurated on July 16. UPLB Chancellor Rex Victor O. Cruz and PCC Executive Director Libertado C. Cruz led the inauguration rites. Also present were Regional Executive Directors Vilma M. Dimaculangan, Cipriano G. Santiago and Abelardo R. Bragas of DA-RFU IV-A, DA-RFU IV-B and DA-RFU V, respectively, as well as PCC regional center directors, local government officials, municipal agriculturists and farmer-members of dairy cooperatives in the CALABARZON region.

“The bull barn and semen processing laboratory will further ensure a sustainable source of quality semen for developing new dairy breed of carabaos,” Arnel Del Barrio, PCC at UPLB center director, said.

“We used to have a small laboratory room for semen processing where we can only process semen from eight superior donor bulls. Through the Department of Agriculture, we were given the chance to upgrade our laboratory. The new facility can now accommodate up to 30 bulls. A superior bull can produce 4,000 to 5,000 doses of frozen semen in a year,” he added.

Chancellor Cruz said in his message that the two structures are part of a much bigger picture in improving the lives of Filipinos as well as guaranteeing that improved breed of carabaos will continuously increase in the country.

“We look at these as not only a boost to what PCC is doing given its mandate but as our asset for research and for education of our own students. This is to us a welcome development. With the addition of the state-of-the-art equipment, the laboratory will be able to evaluate and process a higher volume of freshly collected semen to address the increasing demand for carabao upgrading in the Philippines,” said Chancellor Cruz.

On the other hand, Dr. Cruz, PCC head, acknowledged the support of the host institution and its strong partnership with PCC.

“The newly constructed facilities will provide good quality genetics that will allow PCC to cover three to four folds more than the usual number of farmers we service in a year,” he added.

He also cited PCC at UPLB as one of the best regional centers of PCC, adding that its center director and staff represent the best of PCC.

Dr. Cruz further said that the facilities will further boost the front-line services of the government and further enhance the opportunities to uplift the lives of the Filipino farmers.