Philippine Carabao Center showcases carabao-based enterprises harnessed by science on 18th anniversary

A March 19, 2011 press release by the Department of Agriculture

Science City of Muñoz – Carabao-based enterprises in rural areas whose developments were based on science will be showcased by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) here in connection with its 18th anniversary celebration on March 21-25.

Dairy farmers, as well as prospective entrepreneurs and other interested parties, have been invited to visit, during a field day, select individuals and cooperatives that have shown considerable success in raising dairy buffaloes and engaging in enterprises that provide them big income.

“There are now many farmers who have imbibed the knowledge on scientific ways of improving the breed of their dairy carabaos and in improving their system of maximizing benefits that their carabaos can provide them,” Dr. Libertado Cruz, PCC executive director said.

He added that in the matter of improving the breed of their carabaos, the farmer-owners are now conversant in crossing and backcrossing of their animals to attain quality breed of their dairy animals. They achieved this thru their close association with PCC experts who continuously provide them with the knowledge on how to do it.

Cruz said the farmers either submit their carabaos to artificial insemination (AI) using semen from quality dairy buffaloes being produced by the PCC’s national bull farm or use superior bulls loaned by PCC.

Private village-based AI technicians, trained by PCC, are on hand to help the farmers in their need for the artificial insemination of their breedable carabaos.

“We now have about a thousand village-based AI technicians positioned in many places in the country. They are known by the acronym VBAIT and the farmers are happy to pay a fee for helping them improve the breed of their carabaos,” he added.

Cruz said at least 2,000 more VBAITs will be trained by PCC to cover various places in the country which are under the charge of PCC’s 13 regional centers.

The PCC has been harnessing science and technology in its 18 years of pursuing its mandate to conserve, propagate, and promote the Philippine carabao as a source of draft animal power, meat, milk and hide. For reproduction, the PCC has developed biotechnologies such as multiple ovulation and embryo transfer, in vitro embryo production , and ovum pick-up, and technologies of semen sexing and cryopreservation.

Among the technologies employed by many farmers relate to increasing milk harvest, faster and more sanitary ways of milking of the carabaos and storing the milk for marketing. Specific technologies include the use of milk replacer, flushing, use of a portable machine for milking, and use of a communal freezer.

On March 25, PCC will launch the book “Businessing the Carabao” written by Dr. Anselmo Roque, a multi-awarded agricultural journalist.

Outstanding dairy farmers and dairy cooperatives, as well as VBAITs and employees of PCC will be honored.

Also, a Central Collecting and Processing Facility and a Product Outlet, meant to boost the production and processing of carabaos milk and entrepreneurship in Central (and Northern) Luzon , will be inaugurated.

Invited speakers during the main program are Sen. Francis Pangilinan, chair of the senate committee on agriculture and food, and Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.