Another Village-based Artificial Insemination Technician (VBAIT) trained by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) has earned recognition under the Gawad Saka Awards of the Department of Agriculture (DA).
Arnolfo B. Corpuz, 51, has been adjudged as the 2013 Gawad Saka regional winner for the Ilocos Region in the Outstanding Large Animal Raiser category. He received his award in a ceremony held on July 17 at Plaza del Norte, Laoag City.
A resident of Barangay San Pablo, San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte, Corpuz is one of the active VBAITs of PCC at Mariano Marcos State University (MMSU). In 2013 he rendered a total of 170 AI services. He was trained as an AI technician on April-May 2007.
Corpuz himself is a carabao owner. He had only one female native carabao then. He became an AI client of PCC technicians. Not long after his third crossbred was born, William Gudoy, the PCC at MMSU’s AI coordinator, started convincing him to participate in the training on AI and pregnancy diagnosis (AIPD). Corpuz was hesitant at first, considering the distance since the training would be held at PCC at Central Luzon State University, which is located in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. Moreover, he could not leave his farm and animals for the training that lasts 21 days. Eventually, however, Gudoy was able to convince Corpuz, who submitted all the needed requirements and proceeded to attend the training.
After the training, Gudoy introduced him to the different barangays in San Nicolas town. He stressed to Corpuz that the AI services that he would render would not be given for free since he would be operating as a private technician. They performed estrus synchronization (ES) among the female carabaos to set their estrous cycle. Two days after the ES, Corpuz followed with AI.
Aside from San Nicolas, Corpuz also covers the municipalities of Sarrat, Paoay, Currimao, Pinili and the City of Laoag. He has also extended his services to some parts of Ilocos Sur as well as nearby municipalities of Cagayan.
Corpuz is paid P500 – P700 per AI service and P150 for pregnancy diagnosis. He also collects fees for treating simple animal diseases, a skill he acquired through another PCC training. Farmers also call him frequently to deworm their animals.
Out of his earnings as a VBAIT, he was able to acquire two more crossbreds. Currently, he owns 10 buffaloes, two of which are lactating as of this writing. He sells his milk produce at different offices of their municipal hall. His neighbors are also among his regular customers. It is worth noting that he regularly provides fresh carabao milk daily to feed five malnourished children in his village.
Corpuz tends not only carabaos in his three-hectare farm but also cattle, goats, sheeps, pigs and poultry. He utilizes part of his farm for rice and corn production, while some parts are for forage production, which he uses as feed material for his animals.
Corpuz now competes in Gawad Saka’s national level, and if wins, he will be the second VBAIT of PCC at MMSU to hold such a distinction. To recall, Alex Pasion, also a VBAIT of the center, was a National Gawad Saka awardee in 2012.
The Gawad Saka search is an annual DA undertaking aimed at giving due recognition to deserving farmers, fisherfolk and organized groups who excel in their respective fields and contribute to the general well-being of their community. It started in 1970 with only one category. Today Gawad Saka currently has 24 categories.