The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) is releasing 980 dairy buffaloes to 34 pre-selected farmer-cooperatives and associations in various parts of Luzon.
According to Dr. Felomino V. Mamuad, PCC officer in charge, the buffaloes are part of the 1,252 Italian Mediterranean dairy buffaloes that PCC imported from Italy in November last year. They were selected from two dairy buffalo associations in the central and northern part of Italy, namely, the Associazione Esportatori Di Bestiame (AEBO) and Associazione Nazionale Allevatori Specie Bufalina (ANASB).
Twenty-two are bulls while the rest are heifers.
The herd arrived in the country in November and underwent the mandatory quarantine at PCC’s quarantine area in Lomboy, San Jose City, Nueva Ecija starting November 11 in compliance with existing animal health regulations.
The Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) lifted the quarantine on January 24, giving the go-signal for the release of the animals.
Recipients of the animals are qualified small-hold farmers who are members of cooperatives and associations organized by the agency in 2009 and 2010. These prospective trustees have completed the necessary trainings and have complied with their required counterparts needed in carabao production, such as animal sheds, forage areas and guarantee fund.
The heifers will be distributed to the dairy cooperatives and associations, depending on the number of farmer-members of each group. Two-hundred fifty heads will be distributed to the regional centers of PCC as institutional herd.
The bulls will be released to the National Bull Farm of PCC in Digdig, Carranglan, Nueva Ecija and PCC’s centers at Central Mindanao University (CMU) and University of the Philippines – Los Baños (UPLB). These bulls will serve as semen donors in support to the agency’s continuing artificial insemination program.
The distribution started on Jan. 28 and is expected to be completed by April this year.