S&T Boosts Top N. Ecija Dairy Coop’s Operation

Increasing milk production and improving milk quality continue to challenge dairy coops in the country.However, Angat Buhay Producers Cooperative (ABPC), a dairy coop in Calabalabaan, Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija proved this can be easily done through infusion of Science and Technology (S&T). The ABPC applied S&T into the four interrelated components of the milk chain which are: production, collection, storage, processing and marketing.
First, it focuses on the use of flushing method in feeding pregnant and lactating buffaloes. Flushing method is done during the last month of pregnancy up to three months after giving birth. Expectedly, this method results into better nutrition, improved calving interval and increased milk yield. This approach covers three calving seasons within the span of four years which aims to generate additional income of at least PhP30, 945.00 from milk alone. This does not include yet the peso value of additional one calf resulting from shortened calving interval compared with the traditional method.

Second, is the feeding of milk replacer to the newly born calf. This means giving the newly born calf with a commercial milk substitute instead of the dam’s milk. This is immediately done one week after birth when the calf has consumed its dam’s first milk commonly known as colostrum.Third, is working on the viability of a village communal system using portable milking machine and common milk cooling facility. This will encourage “twice a day milking” instead of the traditional “once a day milking”.

Through this S&T Based Farm Project, ABPC helps put in place a communal milking parlor equipped with portable milking machine. Moreover, a milk cooling tank along with stainless milk pails were also acquired.

The portable milking machine is a double bucket type that can accommodate two animals at a time while the milk cooling tank has 200 liters capacity. Using this equipment, milking the buffaloes at dawn and dusk in barangay Calabalabaan will be a lot easier.

Belinda Parugrug, chair of ABPC said that the reason they choose to engage in the S&T project is because of the challenges in maintaining milk quality. The problem is attributed to manual milking where the risk of contamination is high. Meanwhile, the increase in number of animals per member which caused difficulty in milking will also be addressed.

As a result, Parugrug affirmed that they’ll be expecting additional equipment as the project’s commitment to them, and training in operating this equipment particularly the milking machine. (With reports from Nur M. Baltazar, Sonia D. Pol, Maricel C. Gonzaga)