One hundred twenty champion-partners in the carabao development program (CDP) implementation were honored during the “Pistang Parangal sa mga Kaagapay na Magkakalabaw sa Nueva Ecija” in celebration of the National Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month on May 16.
This year’s celebration is anchored on the theme “Buwan ng Magsasaka at Mangingisda 2022: Modernisasyon at Industriyalisasyon Tungo sa Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita.”
During a program organized by the Knowledge Management Division-Learning Events Coordination Section in collaboration with the DA-Philippine Carabao Center at Central Luzon State University (DA-PCC at CLSU), partner-carapreneurs who are members of dairy cooperatives and associations, private farm owners, and family module beneficiaries received plaques of recognition from the DA-PCC for their resolute hard work and dedication in helping advance the growth of the carabao dairy industry in the countryside.
They were also recognized for their strong partnership with DA-PCC in achieving the goals of the agricultural sector, especially in improving the economic and social well-being of farming families and ensuring food security even during a pandemic.
DA-PCC OIC Executive Director Dr. Ronnie Domingo urged the farmer-carapreneurs to scale up their production and upgrade their products’ quality in order to be more competitive in the market domestically and even internationally. He went on to say that success should be about getting better every day.
“The DA-PCC will rally behind you in your modernization and industrialization efforts,” he assured.
Dr. Domingo presented the highlights of accomplishments of the Ahon Lahat, Pagkaing Sapat Kontra COVID-19 (ALPAS COVID-19) project of the agency, which was launched during the National Farmers’ and Fisherfolk’s Month in 2020.
The DA-PCC implemented this in four project components: Creating Opportunities Through Value Innovations and Development (COVID), Unlad Lahi Project (ULaP), Gatas, Isda, Gulay, at Karne (GIGK), and Cara-Aralan with a total of 38,684 beneficiaries.
Specifically, there were 9,795 beneficiaries provided with carabaos, incentives, technical and veterinary services, a crop-forage integrated system, technical, mechanization, and market support for food and feed production under ULaP.
In GIGK, a total of 28,357 beneficiaries received clustered vegetable and livestock forage production and market assistance, logistical support, or farm mechanization assistance; while 100 beneficiaries received up-scaled technologies, innovations in food production, processing, and value-adding in the COVID project component.
Under the Cara-Aralan project component, there were 432 beneficiaries provided with e-learning or webinars focused on farm solutions, learning modules in AVPs, digitized IEC and training materials, multimedia promotions, and communication support services.
Meanwhile, farmer representatives gave their respective testimonies on how the DA-PCC’s program helped them improve their way of life.
Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative chairperson Ferdinand Cueva shared how the income from the dairy enterprise enabled their cooperative to become entirely debt-free; Rosalie Mendoza of the Isla Buliran Farmers Association thanked the DA-PCC for providing technical assistance and enriching their knowledge in dairy buffalo production; private farm owner Ernesto Padolina, who currently owns 100 dairy carabaos, expressed his gratitude to DA-PCC for convincing him to venture into carabao dairying, which eventually provides him sustainable income; and family module beneficiary Apolonio Serrano proudly narrated how his three children were able to graduate from college with the income he earned from raising dairy carabaos.
In 1989, the month of May was declared as Farmers’ and Fisherfolks’ Month under Presidential Proclamation No. 33.