ITOGON, Benguet: The municipal government here is considering a project for the genetic improvement of carabao, primarily as dairy and draft animals to cultivate farms in agricultural areas of this highland town.
Local officials through a resolution expressed their support for the project proposal under the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist (OMAG) for possible funding from the Social Fund of the Philex Mining Corporation.
Native carabaos produce 1.5 liters of milk, only enough for the calf to survive, but with the introduction of genetic traits for milk production it will be more than double, the proposal stated.
The dispersal program of OMAG thus incorporates the acquisition of cross breeds of female carabaos to be used for breeding through artificial insemination in collaboration with the Philippine Carabao Center at the Don Mariano Marcos Memorial State University in Rosario, La Union. The institution produces quality semen from purebred Murrha buffalo, which is ideal for dairy production and also produces better draft animals with improved body size.
The dairy offspring will be distributed to qualified beneficiaries. While it will improve the nutritional status of children, it will also provide livelihood and help in farm cultivation.
A total of P500,000 is needed to jumpstart the project, according to the proposal.