For more than a decade now, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) have been strong partners in fulfilling one goal and that is to contribute to the continuing progress of the dairy industry in the country.
The DTI was recognized as PCC’s secondary stakeholder partner-champion in March 2015 for its valuable and staunch support to the Dairy Development Program in the countryside since 2001.
It provided incessant technical support in the areas of product development, entrepreneurship capacitation and market-matching services for the 50 assisted dairy cooperatives of PCC, initiated the institutionalization and annual celebration of “Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival”, and allocated fund of Php3.5 million in 2014 for the purchase of milk collection and processing equipment and more storage facilities thru the Shared Service Facility (SSF) project, which resulted in the increased quality of milk production and income of rural dairy farmers in Nueva Ecija. The “Gatas ng Kalabaw Festival” is an important activity that showcases carabao’s milk as an instrument to improve the nutrition and source of income of rural farming families.
The PCC-DTI partnership is also gained in the relentless pursuit for Nueva Ecija to be recognized and declared as the “Dairy Capital of the Philippines”.
“We have been pro-actively supporting the development of the dairy industry for the benefit of smallhold dairy farmers and farming communities as a whole for quite some time and we will continue to do so through our SSF project. We are glad to be one of the partners of PCC in this endeavor,”Engr. Eladio N. Duran, chief of the Small-Medium Enterprise (SME) Development Division of DTI, stated.
SSF, considered the DTI’s flagship program for small business development, seeks to provide micro small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) with machinery, equipment, tools, systems, skills and knowledge that can be shared and implemented economy-wide with non-government organizations, people’s organizations, cooperatives, industry/trade/business associations, local government units (LGUs), state universities/colleges technical vocational schools and other similar government and training institutions.
The ultimate goal of SSF, which started in 2013, is to promote the growth of innovative and globally competitive MSMEs by addressing the gaps and bottlenecks in the value chain of priority industry clusters. This is done through the provision of processing equipment for the common use of the MSMEs within those clusters all over the country.
According to the Small Enterprises Research and Development Foundation, the DTI’s Regional Operations and Development Group (RODG), under the SSF project, can provide the processing equipment through its private sector partners or cooperators which, in turn, house these equipment and machinery in sustainable facilities.
The DTI’s partners in implementing SSF, aside from the private sector, are the Department of Science and Technology, the LGUs, and the academe.
Partner-champion in dairy industry
Currently, the DTI has awarded equipment as part of its SSF project to PCC’s 13 assisted dairy cooperatives in Nueva Ecija to include the following: Nueva Ecija Federation of Dairy Carabao Cooperatives (NEFEDCCO), Bagong Pag-asa sa Bagong Talavera Cooperative (BPBTC), Dimasalang Sur Credit Cooperative (DSCC), San Vicente Dairy Producers Cooperative (SVDPC), Casile Dairy Producers Cooperative (CDPC), Eastern Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (EPMPC), Pulong Buli Primary Multi-Purpose Cooperative (PBPMPC), Ayos Lomboy Producers Cooperative (ALPC), Simula ng Panibagong Bukas Cooperative (SiPBuPCo), Kabulihan Farmers Producers Cooperative (KFPC), Kalipunang Pangkaunlaran ng Agrikultura sa Gen. Natividad (KaPaGeNa), Nag-iisang Masikap Multi-Purpose Cooperative (NMMPC), and Buklod Producers Cooperative (BPC).
Maria Odessa R. Manzano, senior trade and industry development specialist under the DTI-Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) support services, specifically cited the kind of equipment that each cooperative received. The NEFEDCCO received two units of freezer, EPMPC received two upright chillers and two vacuum sealers worth Php135,000 while all other cooperatives received two double-bucket type milking machines (electrical and gas engine-driven) and two units of milk bucket made of stainless steel with 40-L capacity.
Manzano also said that DTI is set to award processing equipment to Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CAMPC) and two double-bucket type milking machines to Bagong Pag-asa ng Magsasaka Multi-Purpose Cooperative (BPMMPC).
The dairy cooperatives that were awarded with the equipment expressed their deep appreciation to DTI and PCC.
“The equipment awarded to our cooperative especially the upright chiller is a big help in the handling and storage of our milk produce. We also see it as an advantage that the chiller is transparent, so that our customers can immediately see the available milk products on display,” Melchor Correa, chairman of EPMPC said.
“For my carabao to be accustomed to the milking machine, I just expose it to the sound of the milking machine while I am doing manual milking. After a week, my carabao got used to the sound and the machine became efficient for me to use,” Arnold Cunanan, member of Simula ng Panibagong Bukas MPC, said.
On the other hand, DTI, according to Engineer Duran, sought technical expertise from PCC in terms of maintenance of the milking machines and other equipment. However, the beneficiaries were also trained to troubleshoot a broken milking machine. The training, which was held last May 26 at the national headquarters of PCC, involved lectures and actual demonstration.
“Using a machine in milking is undoubtedly faster than manual milking. It also saves time, which makes the delivery of harvested milk to the collection center faster, minimizing the chances of spoilage,” Engr. Duran explained.
According to him, as of December 2015, a total of 13 SSF projects in the dairy industry amounting to Php2,924,217 were established in Nueva Ecija.