Urdaneta City reaffirms commitment on carabao dairying, holds 1st KALAMILK fest

The City of Urdaneta renews its support to local dairy farmers through the launching of the 1st KALAMILK food festival as an avenue to promote carabao-based dairy products. The festival coincided with the celebration of the City’s 18th charter anniversary held at the Urdaneta Convention and Sports Center on March 15.

City Mayor Amadeo Gregorio E. Perez IV said in his welcome remarks that the event was created to recognize the efforts of Urdaneta dairy farmers and as a way of realizing its target to lead the entire Pangasinan in carabao milk production.

The local government of Urdaneta partnered with the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) in the debut of KALAMILK fest which was attended by representatives from local government and dairy cooperatives in Pangasinan, various private sectors, students of Urdaneta City University (UCU), and selected day care pupils.

PCC Acting Executive Director, Dr. Arnel N. Del Barrio expressed his support to the event saying that such an activity will inspire dairy farmers across the nation to sustain high production of carabao’s milk and encourage others to try dairy carabao production.

To sustain this effort, signing of a pledge of commitment to hold the festival annually was participated by the following officials in Pangasinan:  Ma. Anna Francisco, CESO V of the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR); Gloria Torres, city schools division superintendent of Urdaneta City; Mesnaida Cundan, Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); Felicidad Gan of the Department of Science and Technology  (DOST); Peter Manggaban, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI); and Josefina Bitonio of Cooperative Development Authority.

To spice up the festival, the organizers prepared a giant white cheese and fresh carabao’s milk.

This was succeeded by milk feeding for day care pupils,  pastillas making demo and milk drinking contest whose winners each (daycare pupils, youth, and adult) received Php1000 worth of Milka Krem products.

Dairy chain model

Tulong Dairy Farmers Association (Tulong DFA), an organization of smallhold dairy farmers based in Urdaneta City is now up in improving its current production system after receiving additional support through an innovative strategic plan stipulated in a memorandum of agreement signed during the opening day of KALAMILK festival.

PCC at Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University Director Gloria Dela Cruz headed the signing of the MOA which delineates a complete dairy chain model for Eastern Pangasinan.

Said plan will execute a dairy development modality for Tulong DFA in the field of smallhold dairy production, whereas PCC will provide technologies, technical support, and learning avenues for a sustainable carabao-based enterprise.

Lecture series

The second part of the 1st Kalamilk Festival was done in the afternoon with the conduct of lectures on ensuring milk quality along the supply chain and business entrepreneurship. The lectures were attended by various groups from the LGU, women’s league and students from UCU.

Mina Abella, PCC carabao-based products development expert, served as the resource speaker on good milk quality. She discussed techniques on how to avoid milk spoilage for milk quality assurance which spells out higher income.

On the other hand, Ofelia Castillo of DTI-Pangasinan gave the audience industry tips on how to start a business.

The event organizers said the 1st KALAMILK festival ultimately aims to stir attention of the communities in Pangasinan on the social and economic benefits of dairy carabao production among raisers. Through the annual event, they further explained, the dairy sector is served to boost production in the next years.