Partnering with foreign agencies will help the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) develop the country's carabao industry, the head of the agency Arnel del Barrio, said in a recent international conference in Munoz, Nueva Ecija.
During the International Conference on Carabao-based Enterprise Development (CBED) held at the PCC National Headquarters on October 26-27, del Barrio said "it is difficult to develop the [carabao]industry without [foreign and local]partners."
"The road to dairy development is rough, but with the partners from India, Laos, Thailand and the Philippines, it will become easier for us," he said.
He added that since India is the largest milk-producing country in the world, the Philippines needs their knowledge and expertise.
India's dairy industry
Three of the ten speakers in the conference were from India: Sriram Singh, executive director of the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) Dairy Services; Avnish Kumar, principal scientist of the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources; and Sagi Ram Mohan Rao, chief operations officer of the Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt., Ltd.
Singh tackled the key strategies employed by the NDDB to increase their country's milk production. He said India's production was scant during the 1950s to 1960s but gradually increased in the 1970s to 1990s, and skyrocketed in 2015-2016.
"Linking the production center to the market in an efficient manner, setting up facilities in strategic locations, year round remunerative market for milk producers, timely and reliable services [e.g. animal feedstuff, Artificial Insemination facility, animal health care], creating institutions owned, managed, and controlled by the producers themselves [e.g. cooperatives]," he said, helped in the rapid development of the carabao industry in India.
Kumar, on the other hand, discussed Information Technology application in animal production, specifically in animal genetic resources inventory, data processing system for field survey of breeds, databases on animal genetic resources, and use of geographic information system.
He said the benefits from the animal recording system are decision support for efficient farm management, genetic improvement of animals, disease management, among others.
Susie Martin, chief executive officer and director of Sales and Marketing of Laos Buffalo Dairy, and Charinee Chaiyochlarb of Murrah Farm in Thailand, also shared their respective experiences in marketing carabao milk products, along with problems encountered and strategies employed.
The two-day event was organized by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture based in Los Banos, Laguna, in partnership with PCC, and was also attended by about 200 farmers, entrepreneurs, representatives from various government agencies, researchers and scientists.
"The objectives of this event are to share scientific and technological knowledge and best practices, and to explore beneficial partnerships and collaborations," del Barrio said.