Newly trained facilitators gear up for FLS-DBP in Zambales, some provinces in Mindanao

Broader efforts in the conduct of FLS-DBP are expected to come into being as participants finished their stint at the Farmer Livestock School on Dairy Buffalo Production (FLS-DBP) Facilitator’s Learning Workshop held from June 18 to June 28 at the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

In a span of 10 days, representatives from select local government units (LGUs), cooperatives and farmers from Zambales and Mindanao engaged in simultaneous lessons and hands-on activities on Dairy Buffalo Production from raising healthy and productive dairy buffalo to maximizing the benefits that can be derived from carabao-based enterprises.

“We use the term facilitators because in FLS-DBP we utilize an interactive type of learning that is not monopolized by the lecturers but something that encourages everyone involved to participate in,” Dr. Eric Palacpac, chief of Knowledge Management Division (KMD), said.

A set of FLS-DBP modules co-created by the PCC’s FLS-DBP committee with Ms. Anna Marie Alo, a pioneer FLS developer from the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development, served as guide in the conduct of the workshop.

The FLS-DBP module developers present during the workshop were Dr. Annabelle Sarabia, PCC’s Research and Development Division chief; Dr. Daniel Aquino, PCC at Central Luzon State University center director; and Dr. Palacpac.

FLS-DBP is a modality that offers technology options to farmers and lasts for about 34 weeks. It requires participants to have three milking buffaloes, animal shed, and to sign a voluntary pledge to attend the scheduled meetings.

Meanwhile, Dr. Arnel Del Barrio, PCC executive director, noted that FLS-DBP can help alleviate poverty by equipping participants with knowledge and honing their skills in dairy buffalo production.

“During the PCC’s anniversary, a dairy farmer entrusted with a dairy carabao approached me and said that she is no longer a Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program beneficiary because of her income in buffalo dairying. This shows the impact of PCC’s efforts,” Del Barrio said.

He added that the dairy industry will further flourish by next year upon the full implementation of RA 11307 or the “Masustansiyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act” that ensures market for dairy farmers. Under the law, milk was included in the national feeding program to fight hunger and undernutrition in the Philippines.

The first FLS-DBP facilitator’s learning workshops happened in Nueva Ecija and Ilocos Norte in 2015 while from 2016 to 2017, the pilot batches of FLS-DBP from Guimba, Talugtog and San Jose in Nueva Ecija finished the training. Since then, FLS-DBPs and facilitator’s learning workshops were conducted by PCC in partnership with LGUs and other government agencies.

FLS-DBP facilitators Erwin Valiente, Rovelyn Jacang, and Charlene Corpuz of the KMD administered this FLS-DBP facilitator’s learning workshop involving 21 participants.