The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center at USM (DA-PCC at USM) in partnership with the Agricultural Training Institute XI (ATI-XI) conferred the almost 200 farmer-enrollees of Davao del Sur as graduates of the first-ever School on-the-Air on Dairy Buffalo Production (SOA-DBP) in Region XI on March 18, 2022 in a ceremony held at the Davao del Sur Coliseum, Digos City.
During the mass graduation ceremony, Dr. Eric Palacpac, chief of DA-PCC’s Knowledge Management Division, highlighted the purpose of SOA-DBP, which is to further reach buffalo raisers or carabao keepers when disseminating knowledge, technologies, programs, and services in dairy buffalo production via radio broadcasting.
“Davao Region is ideal for buffalo production as it is home to almost 145,000 heads of carabao (2020 data). Davaoeños can contribute significantly to developing the local dairy industry by honing their knowledge and skills on buffalo dairying,” Palacpac added.
Likewise, ATI-XI Director Dante Esguerra challenged the graduates coming from the municipalities of Bansalan, Hagonoy, Magsaysay, Matanao, and Kiblawan to practice what they have learned in dairy buffalo production during their four months of learning through the radio.
“It is not about constant practice that makes you perfect, but instead it is correct practice that makes you perfect. I challenge you all to share the new technologies and knowledge you have gained from SOA-DBP,” Director Esguerra said.
Moreover, DA-PCC at USM Center Director Benjamin John C. Basilio gave thanks to the farmers and partner-agencies for their unending support to the carabao development program in the region.
“To the different local government units, agriculture and veterinary offices, we thank you for your unending support and time to be the channel of blessing for carabao development program for the farmers of Region XI. With our collective effort, we make things possible!” Director Basilio exclaimed.
Meanwhile, farmer-graduates shared their gratitude as SOA-DBP opens new door of opportunities in carabao keeping.
“SOA-DBP is a package deal. It gives us new knowledge on how to properly take care of our carabaos. At the same time, it introduced new opportunities to gain profit and to have additional income coming from carabao,” Rene Mark Ybañez, SOA-DBP graduate, said.
The same graduation ceremony will be conducted on March 29 and 30 for farmer-enrollees from Davao de Oro and Davao Oriental, respectively. The SOA-DBP is a radio program with 16 lessons on Feeding Management, Health Management, Breeding Management, Carabao Enterprise, and Technology adoption. It started on November 2021 and aired in DXRD 711Mhz with livestreaming via ATI-XI and DA-PCC at USM Facebook pages.