Water buffalo, or carabao, as it is called in the Philippines, has long been considered an integral component of mixed crop-livestock farming systems producing draft power for tillage and transport, milk, meat, and hide, as well as manure for fertilizer and for fuel in developing countries in Asia. As of 2014, about 218 million buffaloes found existing in the world provided 111 million tons of milk and 4.1 million tons of meat. Of these, 97 percent or roughly 212 million heads are water buffaloes found in the Asian region, more than half of which are found in India (FAO STAT 2014). While buffalo population had increased between 2010 and 2014, this growth was not uniform and the population declined in some countries, notably the Philippines and Vietnam. Nanda and Nakao (2003) cited several reasons for the decline of buffalo population in Southeast Asia, which include increased farm mechanization diminishing the role of water buffalo as source of draft power, and urbanization of agricultural areas, which reduced the need for buffaloes for tillage and agricultural production, among others. Nanda et al. also observed an increased trend in buffalo slaughter to meet the demands for meat by a rapidly growing human population, urbanization, improved income and spending capacity, as well as lack of proper attention by policy makers and researchers.
In spite of the decreasing role of this draft animal, the value of water buffalo as source of livelihood and food remains high especially in smallholder farming systems. To fully harness the potentials of this huge existing animal resource to contribute to the growing demand for ruminant-derived and more importantly, to benefit smallholders by way of increased income and access to nutritious food, Cruz (2015) recommended that strategies for the development the water buffalo industry in the Philippines can be directed towards improving their genetic potentials for meat and milk production.
Carabao-based Enterprise Development (CBED) is one such strategy implemented by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) under its National Carabao Development Program aimed at improving the productivity of carabao as source of meat and milk. This program aligns with the goal of the Department of Agriculture to make food available and affordable, increase the income of farmers and fisherfolk, and enhance the resilience of their farms to climate change risks. As of 2015, more than 200 dairy cooperatives and associations nationwide composed of more than 10,000 carabao owners and small-holder farmers have engaged in carabao-based enterprises (CBEs) (PCC 2015). Support to these cooperatives takes the form of organizational and technical trainings as well as the provision of post-production equipment, mostly to preserve the quality of the milk and sustain market linkages (Cruz 2015).
Several countries and the international community have also recognized the need for buffalo development and have taken some strategic steps towards improving buffalo production such as in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Thailand. To boost these efforts of developing the water buffalo industry toward food and nutrition security and livelihood development in the Philippines and ASEAN, PCC and the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEARCA) are convening stakeholders from the private sector including medium and small scale entrepreneurs, local governments, civil society organizations, national and international policy and research agencies, and representatives from regional and global networks in an International Conference on Carabao/Buffalo-based Enterprise Development.
The international conference aims to bring together various stakeholders on Carabao-Based Enterprise Development (CBED) to:
Exchange scientific and technological knowledge and best practices on buffalo-based enterprise development from two perspectives: (a) institutional or government, and (b) private sector;
Discuss government policies, regulations, support facilities and logistics that are vital in the development buffalo-based dairy enterprises; and
Explore mutually beneficial partnerships, collaboration or cooperation in relevant R&D and initiatives in CBED.
Sharpened programs and initiatives that directly benefit smallholder carabao/buffalo farmers in the Philippines and ASEAN region;
Papers and/or presentations by invited resource persons for publication; and
List of possible partnerships or collaborative activities with experts or other organizations and enterprises in Asia.
Representatives from the private sector including medium-scale and small-scale enterprises/farmer and dairy cooperatives; local government units; civil society organizations; experts and scientists on buffalo production; national and international policy and research institutions; regional and global networks
The Conference fees are USD400.00, which will cover airport transfers (from and to Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Manila), or USD 320.00 (from and to Clark International Airport (CRK); accommodation at the PCC Hostel and Training Facilities, single occupancy (including breakfasts and dinners); conference meals and materials; tour of PCC dairy facilities; and field trip to Alfonso Farms. The conference fee does not include airfare, health/travel insurance, and airport terminal fees, which are to the account of the participant.
Registration will be open until 13 October 2017. For the registration form, please click here.
Dr. Maria Celeste H. Cadiz Program Head, Knowledge Management Department, SEARCA Tel.: (+63 49) 554-9330 to 36 (local 3500) Fax: (+63 49) 536-2283 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Ms. Sarah Grace L. Quiñones Project Coordinator, Project Development and Technical Services, SEARCA Tel.: (+63 49) 554-9330 to 36 (local 3306) Fax: (+63 49) 536-2283 Email: email@example.com
Ms. Rosario B. Bantayan Program Specialist, Knowledge Management Department, SEARCA Tel.: (+63 49) 554-9330 to 36 (local 3502) Fax: (+63 49) 536-2283 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dr. Eric P. Palacpac Chief, Knowledge Management Division-PCC Tel.: (+63 44) 456-0731 Fax: (+63 44) 456-0730 Email: email@example.com
Conference Chair/Convenor: Dr. Arnel N. del Barrio
Conference Management Team Chair: Dr. Eric P. Palacpac Members: Ms. Khrizie Evert M. Padre Ms. Kristine Jen Sta. Ines Ms. Marianne Tejada Engr. Eduardo Dalusong Ms. Honey Lyn Palileo Ms. Marah Agaton Mr. Jeffrey Jerome M. Balaoing Ms. Wilma T. del Rosario Ms. Ma. Cecilia C. Irang
KM Team Leader and Policy Planning Specialist: Dr. Serafin D. Talisayon
SEARCA Partners Dr. Lope B. Santos III Dr. Maria Celeste H. Cadiz Ms. Rosario B. Bantayan Ms. Nancy L. de Leon Ms. Sarah Grace L. Quiñones Mr. Jerrel Edric B. Mallari
PCC CBED Knowledge Series Production Team Dr. Eric P. Palacpac Ms. Rowena G. Bumanlag Ms. Khrizie Evert M. Padre Ms. Ma. Cecilia C. Irang Ms. Chrissalyn L. Marcelo
Adviser: Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr.
DAY 0 – 25 October 2017 (Wednesday)
Arrival and check-in by participants at Philippine Carabao Center Hostel, Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, Philippines
DAY 1 – 26 October 2017 (Thursday)
Dr. Arnel N. del Barrio Conference Convenor Executive Director III, PCC
Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit, Jr. Director, SEARCA
Hon. Cynthia A. Villar Chair, Committees on Agriculture and Food, and on Government Corporations and Public Enterprises, Senate of the Philippines