Triumphant dairy farmers and entrepreneurs in carabao-based industry imparted their good practices in the 2nd National Carabao Conference held last November 14 and 15 at the national headquarters and gene pool of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC), Science City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija.
With the theme, “Nagsipag… Nagnegosyo… Nagtagumpay!”, the conference served as a venue for meaningful interaction among the participants and a source of significant information and ideas, for sharing and disseminating, which is expected to inspire more to participate in the Carabao Development Program (CDP).
According to Wilma Del Rosario, National Impact Zone (NIZ) coordinator of PCC and the overall chair for the second NCC, strategic breakout sessions with different speakers according to their respective practices were arranged to realize the conference theme.
“Sharing their respective stories to the participants is one way of encouraging and motivating them to strive harder in their chosen venture and at the same time encourage others to follow suit,” she said.
For the “nagsipag” (diligent technology adopters), those who shared their stories are farmers who have been persistent in alleviating their way of living thru the income that they earn from the dairy carabaos. They also narrated their good practices in the value chain and how they adopt technologies in their respective activities.
Isagani Cajucom of Lupao, Nueva Ecija discussed the income he earns from silage production; Catalina Visda of Sto. Domingo, Nueva Ecija shared her good practices in production such as care and management of buffaloes; Eugenio Felicano Jr. of San Agustin, Isabela shared the benefits he gets from the bull loan program of PCC; Eliseo Mislang of San Jose City, Nueva Ecija talked about how he gets to save household expenditures such as for gas that they use for cooking because of the technology on biogas digester using carabao manure to produce gas; Imelda Zamora of Asingan, Pangasinan, narrated the profits she gets from the sales of vermicast thru vermicomposting; and Sernan Pelayo of Aliaga, Nueva Ecija imparted his practices as a village-based artificial insemination technician (VBAIT) and the sustainable income he derives from it.
“I am really happy and satisfied with the income I get from being a VBAIT. Aside from being of help to others, I am also able to contribute to the carabao upgrading program of PCC for the sustainable growth of our livestock industry,” Pelayo said.
In the “nagnegosyo” (innovative entrepreneurs), businessmen highlighted and promoted their carabao-based enterprises and their products out of carabao’s milk, meat, and hide.
Leoncio Callo of Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija showed to the participants the annual sales and income of Dairy Box Delicatessen and how they continuously improve their products; Arturo Tabbu of Tuguegarao City, Cagayan shared the history of the Lighthouse Cooperative and how they come up with their products from carabao’s meat and hide such as “Chicha-rabao”, carabeef tapa, longganisa and others; Prof. Dana Vera Cruz of Central Luzon State University described the innovative reason behind the production of the internationally-recognized tilapia ice cream; Jesus Mateo of Sta. Maria, Bulacan shared the humble beginning of their family business in food products and meat dealership; Joel Morales of San Agustin, Isabela gave a testimony on how his crossbred carabaos are called upon to power “karyada” every cropping season and the income he gets from this; and Ariel “Aying” Viñas of Cabiao, Nueva Ecija narrated how he started his pastillas business and how he made it to be dubbed as the “king of pastillas-making in Southern Nueva Ecija”.
“When I decided to start my own pastillas business, I wanted to make something distinctly Aying’s. I improved the recipe I learned from my former employer and created my own version of the existing flavors. Each time I see food products when I go out with my family, I always think of how I can incorporate those items with pastillas. I would do some experiments until I eventually develop a new recipe,” Viñas shared.
On the other hand, for the “nagtagumpay” (rising above subsistence), testimonies of dairy farmers on how the dairy carabao program benefitted their families was the highlight. Narration of their stories on how their children were able to graduate from college thru the help of dairy carabaos was presented in a video material.
The two-day event was attended by some 500 dairy farmers, partners, businessmen, local government officials and representatives from various government agencies and private organizations that are actively involved in the implementation of the CDP being carried out by PCC.