SAN CARLOS CITY, Pangasinan – A farmers’ association based here which will engage in carabao-based dairy enterprise got support from the provincial government as Governor Amado T. Espino, Jr. assured the group to provide them with 10 female buffaloes (carabao) as start-up resource to their livelihood venture.
The provision of female buffaloes to Palaming Farmers and Farm Workers’ Association (PFFWA) will be outsourced through the ‘Buy Back Scheme for Female Breedable Carabao” that is being implemented by the Provincial Veterinary Office.
In a courtesy call last July 31, Governor Espino urged the farmers to upgrade their capabilities in crops farming and dairy production to make their livelihood self-sufficient and income generating venture in the community.
The provincial chief executive, who vowed continued support to various farmers’ associations in Pangasinan, also sought support from PFFWA for the protection and conservation of female carabao in the province.
In aid of legislation, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) passed provincial ordinance no. 170-2013 which “regulates the sale or slaughter of female carabao (riverine buffaloes and crossbreds) within Pangasinan, thereby establishing a buy back scheme for female breedable carabao and providing funds therefore.”
The province of Pangasinan is the first Local Government Unit (LGU) in the country to have passed such piece of legislation.
Meanwhile, Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) Regional Director Gloria dela Cruz said that that PCC will help in the management and monitoring of PFFWA’s carabao-based enterprise.
“We are convincing farmers to engage in carabao dairy production, considering that there is a big potential to generate employment and income through carabao-based enterprises,” dela Cruz said.
“And for health benefits, carabao milk has been a good source of protein and riboflavin,” she added.
On behalf of the farmers’ group, Rosario Rosario, wife of PFFWA President, thanked Governor Espino for granting their request as she expressed support to the governor’s request on ensuring conservation of female buffaloes in the province.”
Carabao-based enterprise development in Pangasinan started with seven (7) existing Carabao Dairy Producers, namely: Bantog Samahang Nayon (Asingan); Pares-Pares San Nicolas (San Nicolas); Tulong Multi-Purpose Cooperative (Laoac-Tulong Urdaneta City); Hundred Island Carabao Raisers Association (Alaminos City); Anda Carabao Raisers Association (Anda); Samahan ng Maralitang Magsasaka ng Tumbar (Lingayen); and Federation of Free Farmers (Bugallon).
These farmer associations/cooperatives are trying to organize and mobilize existing crossbred owners in Pangasinan with the assistance of the PCC.
Governor Espino also instructed Provincial Veterinarian Eric Jose Perez to look into the status of the regulation on the sale or slaughter of ravine and crossbred female buffaloes in the province.
By Dexter A. See