PROJECTS to upgrade the carabao industry are in the works to increase animal numbers and raise output of milk and meat, the Department of Agriculture (DA) said in a statement. 

Agriculture Secretary William D. Dar said during a meeting of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) Advisory Board on Sept. 3 that other elements of the strategy are farm clustering, lowering feed costs, research, facilities modernization and collaborations with local government units.  

“Those are the key areas with which we really have to pursue using the state-of-the-art facilities,” Mr. Dar said.

At the meeting, the board discussed the PCC’s service contingency and management plan, the creation of the Carabao Industry Roadmap for 2022-2026, the US Public Law (PL) 480 program of community-based dairy enterprise development, and collaboration with academic partners for applied biotechnology in livestock for 2022 to 2025.

“With the breeding centers that we have, we need to enlarge the breeding animals in every regional center so that we can have more exposure on the ground. Let’s see to it that we expand. That is the only way we can see a much-accelerated milk and meat production in the carabao industry,” Mr. Dar said.

According to the DA, the carabao industry’s output by value is currently at P13.23 billion.

Under PL 480 or the United States Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act, the PCC will receive P512 million.

The targets for the industry include the production of 27.7 million liters of milk, improved dairy carabao inventory, 22 province-wide impact areas as dairy business hubs, and a 20% increase in farmer incomes.

After the meeting, Mr. Dar inaugurated the National Livestock Cryobank at the PCC National Headquarters in Nueva Ecija, which is supported by PL 480 and the Korea International Cooperation Agency.

“The facility was built to strengthen the capacities of the PCC to advance research for development on ex-situ cryoconservation for animal genetic conservation leading to sustainable animal production systems,” the DA said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave