SAN PABLO, Isabela: To further boost and develop the flourishing milk and dairy production in Isabela province, farmers are asking the national government’s support in their bid to make the province the country’s dairy industry capital.
Isabela, which is the second biggest province in the country, possesses a land area suited for bovine pasture and other agricultural development purposes. If given the proper help, they claimed, the province can become the country’s center for products like pastillas, pasteurized milk, flavored milk, yogurt and kesong puti (white cheese).
Zuellen Reynoso of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Agricultural Research (DA-BAR) agreed with their claim saying there is large-scale production of carabao milk in Isabela although the province is still wanting in terms of national government support.
Reynoso cited an assessment made by the San Pablo Livestock and Dairy Development Association, which called for more appropriate trainings on animal husbandry, conversion of carabao milk into various dairy products, product marketing and management and the development of entrepreneurial capabilities of association members.
She said farmers must be given enough training to make sure that they are knowledgeable in the operation, marketing and management aspects of the industry.
She added that the current partnership between the DA-BAR and the Isabela State University can enhance the development of the dairy industry and result into employment generation, greater income, food security and improved nutrition.
Meanwhile, San Agustin town Mayor Virgilio Padilla said that despite the increasing demand for dairy products and its potential profitability, they appeal for help in the purchase and distribution of carabaos to local farmers to increase production.
“Our farmers in San Agustin also need training to enhance their capability for proper carabao raising, processing of milk, proper milk handling and storing practices, product marketing and development of entrepreneurial skills,” Padilla added.
Known as kalabaw, the carabao is indigenous to the Philippines and has been part of the farming family’s life. Adult carabaos can weigh up to 2,000 kilograms and is widely used for pulling the plow and transporting farm products to the market.
In 1992, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) was created to ensure the conservation, propagation and promotion of carabao as source of milk, meat and draft power.