Serrano sees ‘agripreneurship’ to usher more sustainable, progressive industry

“Millions of local farmers, especially entrepreneurs, generate income and will not leave our country. They usher a sustainable and resilient progressive industry,” Undersecretary Segfredo Serrano for Policy and Planning of the Department of Agriculture said in his keynote address during the PCC’s 26th anniversary program held March 27 at the PCC National Headquarters and Gene Pool in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija.

In attendance during the program were the progressive carabao entrepreneurs or carapreneurs that are being assisted by PCC.

PCC’s anniversary theme “Empowering ‘Carapreneurs’: Our Purpose in Focus” places on spotlight the outstanding carapreneurs who have exemplary testimonies on how the dairy buffalo-based business has empowered them to have a sustainable livelihood.

“We call our farmers as carapreneurs because we wanted them not only to raise buffaloes but to eventually imbibe the entrepreneurial spirit to maximize their profit from the business,” Dr. Arnel del Barrio, PCC executive director, said.

A book titled “25 Faces of Success in Carapreneurship” and a new farmers’ audio-visual presentation were launched during the program to underscore this year’s anniversary theme.

“In these productions, we featured the stories of carabao raisers who are now reaping the bountiful benefits of dairying because of their unrelenting persistence even despite their  struggles,” Rowena Bumanlag, anniversary overall chair and head of the Applied Communication Section of the Knowledge Management Division, said.

USec. Serrano lauded the PCC for ushering empowerment in many farming communities with the buffalo as an instrument of development.

The main highlight of the program was the awarding of outstanding farmers in various categories.

Carlo Magno Abellanosa of Don Carlos, Bukidnon was recognized as the “Best Family Module”; Catalanacan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (CAMPCI) of Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija was adjudged “Best Dairy Buffalo Farmer Cooperative”; Erlinda Mercader of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija as “Modelong Juana sa Pagkakalabawan”; and Rolly Richard Zalameda of Ormoc City, Leyte as “Outstanding Kabataan sa Pagkakalabawan”; Leopoldo Marcos of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija as “Outstanding Dairy Buffalo Farmer for Smallhold Category”; Eliseo Mislang of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija as “Outstanding Dairy Buffalo Farmer for Semi-Commercial Category”; and Andy Poe Garcia of Magalang, Pampanga as “Outstanding Dairy Buffalo Farmer for Commercial Category”. CAMPCI’s Miguel Alfonso took home the “Gintong Kalabaw Cup” for owning the “Best Senior Dairy Buffalo Cow”.

New categories were added in the roster of recognitions this year.  Carlos Cruz of Tanay, Rizal bagged the  “Outstanding Independent Dairy Farmer for Semi-Commercial Category” and Ernesto Padolina of General Tinio, Nueva Ecija for the commercial category.

Apart from the anniversary program, several other important events were conducted during the weeklong celebration that run from from March 25 to 29.

In the R4D Pre In-House Review, 18 on-going and 6 completed papers were evaluated. The papers are in line with the thematic fields of Biosafety, Genetic Improvement-Reproductive and Cryopreservation Techniques, Genetic Improvement-Animal Genomics/Genetic Diversity and Cryopreservation, Product Development, Socio-Economic Dimensions of CDP Implementation, and Production Management System. The In-house evaluators were Dr. Claro Mingala, PCC Scientist III and Livestock Biotech Center chief, Dr. Edwin Atabay, PCC Scientist I, and Dr. Eric Palacpac, PCC’s Knowledge Management Division chief.

Following this was a Farmer’s Field Day cum Technology Showcase that was attended by some 300 buffalo farmers from the national and regional impact areas of PCC. An exhibit that showcased the value chain of dairy buffalo production and management was featured in the technology showcase.

Another highlight was the PCC Employees’ Night where outstanding employees were recognized: “Outstanding Center Director” (Dr. Daniel Aquino of PCC@Central Luzon State University (PCC@CLSU); “Outstanding Supervisor” (Ludivina Estimo of PCC at University of Southern Mindanao); “Outstanding Development Officer” (Engr. Fiorelia Aguinaldo of PCC@CLSU), and “Outstanding Support Staff” (Ma. Corazon Casal of PCC at University of the Philippines Los Baños).  Employees who stayed loyal with PCC were also given recognition.

Among other activities that were simultaneously held were the “Value Chain Players Consultation on National School Feeding Program Implementation” and the “Training-Workshop for PCC Regional Information Officers (RIOs): Strengthening Reportage of Regional CDP Highlights”.

Capping off the weeklong celebration were the Sports Day, “Karwanan”, and HR Transformational Seminar.

The anniversary committee said “Karwanan” is a newly introduced PCC anniversary event that aims to create an unstructured and informal venue for fellowship among PCC employees to allow better rapport and camaraderie.