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Newsletter Official Publication of the Philippine Carabao Center of the Department of Agriculture ISSN 1655-2496 • VOL. 10 NO. 3 • July-September 2011

8 In ‘karyada’,

the carabao proves its extraordinary powers

10 The corn’s ‘beasts’

Your hauling-power behind your crunchy corn bits

12 Manog-carro, carabao, and cart They keep the sugar industry in Bago City rolling

14 Mechanization and carabao power: Useless without the other in the agricultural scene

CARABAO

POWER: Contributing nobly for agricultural development


PCC

table of contents about the cover

Newsletter

The cover photo (by JGGoyagoy) shows a queue of carabao-pulled carts loaded with sacks of freshly threshed palay (unhusked rice) in Talavera, Nueva Ecija.

Official Publication of the Philippine Carabao Center of the Department of Agriculture • Vol. 10 No. 3 • July-September 2011

Editorial Staff Rowena Galang-Bumanlag Editor-in-Chief/Layout Artist Joahna G. Goyagoy Managing Editor Khrizie Evert M. Marcelo Editorial Assistant/ Circulation Manager Rowena G. Bumanlag Writers Joahna G. Goyagoy Leinefe B. Libres Khrizie Evert M. Marcelo Eric P. Palacpac Roldan C. Paraguison Subject Matter Specialists Grace Marjorie R. Recta Franklin T. Rellin Edelina B. Rellin Caro B. Salces Celso P. Quinet

industry news DA reaffirms full support to farmers and fisherfolk

3

San Agustin town in Isabela pushes forward its carabaobased enterprise development

4

Rare phenomenon: Twin calves born nine days apart

5

PCC ups efforts on zoonosis control PCC research paper lands 2nd place in CLARRDEC Regional Symposium

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features

Anselmo S. Roque Editorial Consultant Eric P. Palacpac Chief, Knowledge Resource Management Division Libertado C. Cruz Executive Director/Editorial Adviser

Call for Contributions The PCC Newsletter welcomes industry-related articles not exceeding 800 words, with photos and corresponding caption. Success stories of farmers, cooperatives, and other beneficiaries and stakeholders of the Carabao Development Program are preferred. PCC encourages reproduction of articles from this publication with proper acknowledgment. Topic suggestions and comments are also welcome. Please send your articles and comments to email address pccnewslettereic@gmail.com or mail them to THE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF PCC Newsletter Applied Communication Section Knowledge Resource Management Division Philippine Carabao Center National Headquarters and Gene Pool CLSU Cmpd., Science City of Muñoz 3120 Nueva Ecija or call Tel. No.: 044-456-0731 (loc) 479

www.pcc.gov.ph 2

PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

7 Carabao power complements machine power 8 In ‘karyada’, the carabao proves its extraordinary power 10 The corn’s ‘beasts’

The hauling-power behind your crunchy corn bits

12 Manog-carro, carabao and cart: They keep the sugar

industry in Bago City rolling

14 Mechanization and carabao power: Useless without the

other in the agricultural scene

16 Steering the power of ‘dadapilan’ 18 ‘Carabaos make our day in the farm’ —Cattaran farmers 20 For pineapple produce

Carabaos bring ‘em closer to market 22 Taming the wild, wild mountain trail 24 It’s a ‘piece of cake’ for Kevin 26 A joyful ride for a joyful tour 28 ‘CPG’, Bohol: An enclave for native carabaos 30 Power your draft buffalo for better performance

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industry news

DA reaffirms full support

By ROWENA G. BUMANLAG

to farmers and fisherfolk

The Department of Agriculture (DA) affirms its full support to farmers and fisherfolk in terms of a program that holistically looks into each segment of the production chain, including research and development as well as postharvest concerns. This was emphasized by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala in his message during the opening ceremony of the 7th Agriculture and Fisheries Technology Forum and Product Exhibition at the SM Megatrade Hall in Mandaluyong City.

The event, which ran from August 11 to 14, was part of the 24th anniversary celebration of the Bureau of Agricultural Research (BAR), a DA-attached agency. It showcased technologies developed by DA-attached agencies and regional field units, state colleges and universities, and some stakeholders from the private sector.

The Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) was one of the exhibitors and DA Secretary Proceso J. Alcala highlights in his speech the significant presenter in a popular seminar. The role of R&D in ensuring sustainable programs for agriculture. agency highlighted in its display one of its champion dairy farmers such as Engr. Jaime Ramos of Talavera town in agricultural products in the regions that Nueva Ecija. Dairy products of smallhold have been outputs of diligent research. dairy farmers in the province were also “This event shows that research has showcased. now reached the mainstream that even “This is one venue that shows DA’s shoppers appreciate its outputs,” he farm-to-table program that will make said. sure that we are giving our all-out Eleazar pointed out the national support to our farmers and fishers government recognizes the importance from production to marketing of their of research and development as shown produce,” Alcala said. by a projected increase to about a The annual technology forum and billion pesos for the R&D budget in products exhibit highlight the role of 2012. He said this amount will be research in developing technologies lodged next year with BAR as part of DA and products that are steadily gaining efforts aimed at further strengthening attention in the world market, he added. its research-related endeavors. On the other hand, Director Nicomedes Eleazar of the DA-BAR said the event is a venue to showcase

He added that BAR is now starting to call for papers based on their R&D agenda.

“This is one venue that shows DA’s farmto-table program that will make sure that we are giving our allout support to our farmers and fishers from production to marketing of their produce,” Alcala said.

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San Agustin town in Isabela pushes forward its carabao-based enterprise development By JOAHNA G. GOYAGOY For years, farmers in San Agustin town in Isabela regarded their crossbred carabaos as their “champion allies” in various farm works. Today, these animals are valued not only for their draft ability but more importantly as milk producers that provide cash flow and a sense of empowerment. With the continuing combined efforts of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and the local government unit (LGU) of San Agustin, which is about 232 kilometers northeast of the city of Manila, the town has shown the potential for development as a “CBED Model for Crossbred Buffaloes”. The CBED or the Carabao-based Enterprise Development program of PCC aims to develop and create sustainable dairy enterprises all over the Philippines, particularly in its identified impact zones. San Agustin, led by Mayor Virgilio Padilla, has fully embraced the CBED concept. Consistent with this forwardlooking vision, PCC mobilized a team to work on the envisioned dairy development program in the town. In August 2010, the San Agustin Project was able to establish the basic social infrastructures crucial in staging its transformation towards the desired CBED Model for Crossbred Buffaloes.

More and more farmers, like this man from San Agustin, Isabela, will be sitting comfortably knowing that their income is secured once they venture into a carabaobased enterprise. Mapalad, Masaya Sur, Palacian, Santos, San Antonio, Salay, Sinaoangan Sur, Sinaoangan Norte, Sto Niño, and Virgoneza.

In the latest inventory that showed 487 breedable crossbreds, 16 of these animals are lactating, 55 are pregnant, and 285 have been subjected to artificial insemination. In 2010, a total of 22,120 liters of milk were collected from 59 milking buffalo crossbreds. The provincial government, through Governor Faustino Dy, pledged a Php5 million-support fund last year for the dairy development program of San Agustin. The fund was allocated for the establishment of milk barns, including milking machine, power supply, potable water system, forage nursery development, maintenance and other infrastructure. Six barangay clusters were identified as sites for the milk barns that will cater to the milk collection requirement of dairy farmers.

As a development strategy, PCC and the LGU identified 23 barangays where the concept of dairy enterprises development will be actualized, 12 of The PCC, in coordination with other which have been determined as priority agencies such as the Department of areas where dairy associations will be Trade and Industry, Department of formed. Science and Technology, Department Currently, San Agustin has 13 of Agrarian Reform, and Department of existing organized dairy associations Agriculture, maintains technical support with a total of 380 active members. for dairy management practices, genetic These are located in Barangays Dappig, improvement and carabao-based Dabu bu Grande, Quimabalasa Norte, enterprises development.

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PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

To date, the PCC-San Agustin team has been facilitating a capacity-building program for dairy associations, the LGU and other participating stakeholders. It also continues to build linkages and establish support system to ensure project sustainability. A progress report of the team also shows that it conducts wide-scale estrus synchronization and AI services; nurtures village-based artificial insemination technicians (VBAITs) in the area toward privatization and activates bull handler participation in the carabao upgrading program; and popularizes proven and effective animal nutrition and other dairyrelated technologies among crossbred owners to encourage them to engage in dairying. Market linkages were also established in Cagayan and Isabela to ensure market stability of their milk produce.

Through a participatory process of project management, a clear direction and support from all project implementers and stakeholders, the dairy development program in San Agustin town is expected to prosper, ultimately ensuring sustainable carabao-based livelihood for its people.


Photo by RGBUMANLAG

industry news

PCC’s research efforts on

TWINNING

True to its mandate as the lead agency for livestock biotechnology research and development in the Department of Agriculture network, the Philippine Carabao Center continuously embarks on challenging but rewarding road in harnessing the potentials of biotechnology in the genetic improvement of water buffaloes, such is the use of IVEP or in-vitro embryo production. In 2003, PCC biotech scientist Dr. Danilda Duran and her team determined the possibility of enhancing twinning in water buffaloes through non-surgical embryo transfer technique using embryos produced in the laboratory. The experiment resulted in 16.7 percent twinning rate. While this initiative is seen to create significant impact to produce animals of good genetic merit, the PCC team of animal biotechnology experts are still refining the PCC technique to determine critical factors influencing twinning.

Rare phenomenon

Twin calves born nine days apart By JOAHNA G. GOYAGOY

If twinning in buffaloes is a one-in-a-million chance, twin calves born several days apart from each other, according to animal scientists, could be one-in-a-trillion. The rare phenomenon happened at the Philippine Carabao Center at Central Luzon State University (PCC-CLSU) farm. Twin calves were born nine days apart from each other.

The first calf was born on July 25 at six in the morning, reported Dr. Apolinario Salazar, Jr., farm manager of PCC-CLSU.

On the night of the same day, the calf was separated from its mother and was given milk replacer for supplement. The mother, on the other hand, joined other lactating dams in the barn. Lactating and pregnant cows usually have separate barns. In the wee hours of August 3, around 3:30 a. m., the night shift caretaker, Dominador Gaspar, saw that one of the lactating dams gave birth. Dr. Salazar was informed right away.

“Pambihira! Ang galing! (It’s rare! That’s great!),” Dr. Cruz declared.

Dr. Salazar, who had been earlier engaged in PCC’s twinning project which employed the use of in vitro-producedvitrified embryos, said that this was the first time he saw this kind of occurrence among pregnant buffaloes. Dr. Atabay, an animal breeding and reproduction expert, added that the twinning might have been caused by the release of two distinct oocytes that were both fertilized at two different mating times.

The dam weighs 500 kg and the calves, both males, are approximately 30 kg each.

Dr. Atabay said that the dam was one of the 40 pregnant Brazilian murrah buffaloes that were brought to the farm from the quarantine site. This number was part of the 2,000 head imported When Dr. Salazar went to the farm to from Brazil last year that were infused confirm the delivery, he was surprised to in small dairy farms in selected areas in see that the buffalo that gave birth had Nueva Ecija. the tag number 091494, indicating it was the same animal that gave birth nine The twin calves were named after days ago. their respective birth months, July and August. The phenomenon, which was immediately reported to PCC-CLSU’s The PCC-CLSU team is now doing center director Dr. Edwin Atabay and further investigation as to the exact PCC executive director Dr. Libertado C. scientific basis of the phenomenon. Cruz, drew the same reaction as that of Dr. Salazar’s.

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PCC ups efforts on zoonosis control By JOAHNA G. GOYAGOY As the national lead agency on livestock biotechnology undertakings, the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) aims to intensify its efforts on animal health control, particularly on zoonosis. Relative to this, the agency embarked on extensive researches and collaborations to ensure that the livestock industry is free from this disease. Zoonosis is any infectious disease in animals that can be transmitted to humans and vice versa. Ruminants, particularly carabaos, have certain diseases that can be transmitted to humans like bovine tuberculosis.

Although bovine tuberculosis is a chronic bacterial disease in cattle, it was reported to affect many domesticated and non-domesticated animals. This disease, according to research studies, can spread to humans through the inhalation of bacteria in aerosols droplets or ingestion of infected unpasteurized milk (major mode of transmission), and consumption of raw or undercooked meat. Bovine tuberculosis is still common in less developed countries. Because of the slow progression of the disease, the undetected infected cattle/buffalo persistently spread the disease to many other herd mates before it begins to manifest a clinical sign, which is why early detection is very important. “Test and slaughter” is the standard control measure for this disease causing severe economic losses to farms with positive test results.

According to the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), around 10% of human tuberculosis case is caused by bovine tuberculosis. At risk of contracting the disease are farmers, milkers, farm workers, and veterinarians. Aware of the need to expertly address zoonosis, the PCC picked out one of its veterinarians to specialize

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PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

on the studies and effective control of the disease. Dr. Marvin Villanueva of the PCC Animal Health Unit (PCC-AHU) is currently undertaking an advanced training course on zoonosis control in Japan which is spearheaded by the Global Center of Excellence (COE) Program under the "Establishments of International Collaboration Center for Zoonosis Control". The primary objective of the program, attended by Dr. Villanueva, is to contribute to the development of human resources who will be involved in education, research, and diagnosis toward the control of zoonosis by providing basic and advanced knowledge and introducing related technologies.

The training is currently ongoing at the Research Center for Zoonosis Control, Hokkaido University in Sapporo, Japan. Started on July 29, the training will end on November 25, 2011. Meanwhile, Dr. Charito Gutierrez of the PCC-AHU, attended a twoweek training course on genotyping Mycobacterium bovis, the causative agent of bovine tuberculosis, from September 5 to 18 in the same university.

Dr. Gutierrez brought organ samples (liver and lung) from carabaos collected from the slaughter houses of Batangas and Pangasinan to determine the specific causative species. Dr. Villanueva later extracted the DNA from the samples, brought by Dr. Guttierez, using gel electrophoresis and sequencing. From the extracted DNA, Dr. Villanueva and Dr. Gutierrez found out that the liver sample contains Mycobacterium arupense, a nontuberculous, potentially pathogenic species rarely associated with humans. On the other hand, the lung sample has Corynebacterium spp. which can either be pathogenic or non-pathogenic. After learning the basic and advanced techniques in the diagnosis of zoonotic disease, particularly on bovine tuberculosis, Dr. Villanueva is

expected to be a vital resource person in the field of veterinary medicine on the control and prevention of zoonosis in the country.

PCC research paper lands 2nd place in CLARRDEC Regional Symposium By KHRIZIE EVERT M. MARCELO

A PCC research study titled “Production of Kids following the Use of Optimized Extenders in the Cryopreservation of Goat Semen for Artificial Insemination” won second place in the annual 22nd Regional Symposium on Research and Development Highlights of the Central Luzon Agriculture and Resources Research and Development Consortium (CLARRDEC). The annual symposium was held at the Aurora State College of Technology in Baler, Aurora last August 12. “The research paper presented an efficient and simple technique for cryopreservation of goat semen using styrofoam box for freezing. The result of the study revealed that the extender with 5% egg yolk yielded the best postthawing semen quality,” Dr. Eufrocina Atabay, the technical adviser for the paper and a PCC animal biotechnology expert, said.

The research paper was authored by Ma. Asuncion Beltran, a PhD student in Animal Science in Central Luzon State University. She was co-authored by a team of PCC scientists led by her technical adviser Dr. Eufrocina Atabay. Other members of the team were Dr. Edwin Atabay, Flocerfida Aquino, Alvin Soriano, John Paul Angoya, Dr. Emilio Cruz, and Dr. Libertado Cruz. CLARRDEC is a consortium of 27 agencies and institutions (18 implementing agencies and 9 coordinating agencies) conducting and/or promoting research and development in agriculture, forestry and natural resources in Central Luzon ready for promotion or commercialization.


By ERIC P. PALACPAC Photo by ASROQUE

F

arm mechanization is highly regarded as an important strategy in improving the productivity of a country’s agriculture. In the Philippines, such strategy is well contained under Section 59 and corresponding Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Agriculture and Fisheries Modernization Act (AFMA) of 1997.

But despite AFMA and recent efforts to support it, the level of agricultural mechanization in the country remains relatively low. In a study conducted by Elepaño, Resurreccion, Suministrado, Rodulfo, and Larona (2005) titled “Agricultural Mechanization Development in the Philippines”, it was reported that the power sources in rice and corn production were mainly provided by manual labor at an average usage of 56.5%. The said labor is predominantly utilized during planting, weeding, fertilizer application, spraying, harvesting and drying of crops. Meanwhile, power utilization from machines and man-animal was almost similar, that is, averages of 21.7% and 19.2%, respectively. In the same study, it was reported that farmers used draft animals mostly during land preparation (64.7%) while machines are commonly used during threshing or shelling (69%) and milling (100%) operations. In a separate study by Suministrado (2008) titled “History and Status of Agricultural Mechanization in the Philippines”, it was reported that

carabao power machine power complements

mechanization levels in the production of vegetables, legumes, root crops, coconut, fruits, and fiber crops are generally low while that of sugarcane can range from low to high depending on the type of operation. While there may be a gamut of factors that could explain the low levels of farm mechanization in the country, the (still) popular use of draft animals, particularly carabaos, in many farming operations imply that the animal has effectively been integrated into a prevailing farming system. Such integration can be manifested in economic terms. In a study conducted by STRIVE Foundation, Inc. in 2004, titled “The Carabao Industry: Prospects and Strategic Directions”, it was reported that the contribution of draft carabao power to crops production, as estimated through the production functions for rice, corn, coconut, and sugar was valued at Php73 million in 2002 alone.

In retrospect, the conclusion made by Battad, Agbayani, and Cruz from a 1999 study titled “Effect of Farm Mechanization on Carabao Draft Power Utilization”, which was, “In the Philippines, where farming is done in fragmented smallholdings and wherein the carabao has been wellintegrated, farmers will continue to use carabao for draft power,” holds water to this very day. In this issue of the PCC Newsletter, we feature various places, practices, and individuals who attest to the valuable and inevitable role and contribution of the carabao as a source of draft power in many farm and off-farm activities. The intention is not to undermine the use of oil-powered machines, but to acknowledge and emphasize the fact that draft carabaos provide a complementary and strategic function in the agricultural supply chain and in other services particularly in the rural areas.

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In ‘karyada’, the carabao proves its extraordinary powers

By JOAHNA G. GOYAGOY

and ANSELMO S. ROQUE Photo by JGGOYAGOY

W

hen someone hears about rice farming, most often than not, the sight of a carabao pulling a moldboard plow in the paddy field or a scene in which carabaos haul sacks of palay with their partner carts and worker from the farm to the road, comes to mind.

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PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

Indeed, the carabao, even in an era of mechanization, holds sway in works which machines fail to do.

behind it—and what power they have. They are the king, even super king, in this kind of work in the farm.

In Nueva Ecija, dubbed as the “Rice bowl of the Philippines”, the carabaos are mainstays of the farm. They prove their unequalled strength and handiness for the necessary labor that allows farmers to produce the staple food.

Karyada is the term used to describe the kind of work in rice production wherein the bagged newly threshed palay (unhusked rice) is hauled right from where they are and brought to where they should be piled up. It is a contracted work carried out by a group of agricultural workers who are paid on per-sack-basis.

This animal, aptly described as beast of burden, is harnessed for farm work from the age of four up to their 10th year and sometimes beyond. It is commissioned to harrow, plow, and haul even if the mud is up to its belly. During harvest season, they are called upon to power “karyada”. If not for them, karyada will not keep going in Nueva Ecija farms. They are really the main power

This kind of work is a must whenever the harvested palay is to be threshed. Threshing is commonly done right in different spots in the paddy field which is sometimes a few meters or several hundred meters away from the nearest road. In karyada, the sacks of palay are loaded on the cart, the number of which is dependent on the condition of the soil.


If it is too muddy, five to seven sacks (at least 50 kilos per sack) and up to ten to 12, even 15 cavans per load during the dry season cropping. The cart is pulled by the carabao. The work, which starts as soon as there are already enough for the first load, can go up close to midnight especially when the threshing goes on late in the night. It is during the wet season cropping of rice when the power of the carabao is observed to be having no equal. It is in this season when the field is indeed muddy so that the transport of the sacks of palay needs super power. The wheels of the cart plod deep, deeper in the muddy field. Only the carabaos, with their Herculean power, can rise up to the challenge of pulling through the palay-laden carts to firmer grounds. It was no ordinary challenge but the carabao proved to be having no equal leaping to a thousand-fold. In Barangay San Ricardo, Talavera, Nueva Ecija, “karyador” is the popular name for a farm worker who is on an important call or duty during the harvest season. The group of karyador is mostly composed of three to four farm workers.

They use the carabao to pull the cart for their karyada operations. As such, they are paid a good sum of money in exchange for their hard work. The karyador is paid Php15 for every cavan transported from the farm to the road or where it should be piled up. Usually, the carabao only travels up to 500 meters from the field up to the market road. “We transport the sacks of palay to the nearest road or to the yard of the land owner,” Ambrocio Pastrana, 48, of Barangay San Ricardo said. He is the “kabisilya” or leader of 18 karyador. Pastrana said they have to work overtime. “Kailangan naming magmadali para maiahon ang naaning palay para iligtas sa ulan (We had to work faster in order to save the harvest from therain),” Pastrana said. He added: “Kailangang hakutin pong lahat ang nagiik na ani. Baka tangayin ng ibang tao kapag iniwan sa gabi (We have to haul all the threshed harvest. Other people may poach them if left in the field overnight).” He added though that they have to stop three or four times in order to give a breather for the carabaos. Each of them, he said, expects about Php7,000 for almost a month’s work as karyador. During the dry season, they get more income and the work is relatively

faster and easier. Another leader, Michael Ramos, 45, leader of a four-man group, said his group was contracted to haul the net harvest of 300 hectares. They are paid Php10 per sack of palay each as the farm area is near the highway. His son is a member of the group. “The income we get is a big help for us. We get paid as soon as the landowner is able to sell his harvest,” he said. The carabaos work in a slow pace but they can endure long stretches of work before getting winded. They have proven beyond doubt that there is no challenge too big for this extraordinary animal. The karyador, in return, freely allows the carabaos to indulge in mud baths for an hour or two especially when it is too hot. The animals are also grazed near the riverbanks, where grass is abundant, for their forage. Aside from these, they also provide them the necessary vitamins and vaccination to prepare the carabaos for the next cropping season. The next karyada happens during the harvesting season of the palagad (dry season) which occurs in late November to early January. Harvesting is three months after. In between these months, however, the carabaos are also utilized for other farm works such as plowing, harrowing, and cultivating portions of the field which the tractor cannot till. But that’s another story.

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The CORN's 'BEASTS' The hauling-power behind your crunchy corn bits Text and photos by

ROWENA G. BUMANLAG

C

arabaos, referred to as the country’s beast of burden, always live up to their name. They forge through muds as they are harnessed for plowing and harrowing the field. They go on bringing hefty loads of the field’s harvest to a point of destination from a difficult terrain. These are only some of the odd difficulties that the carabao obediently endures and ardently takes on. Thus, they are indubitably glorified as a special draft animal of formidable strength and remarkable character.

Such display of draft power can be seen in a caravan of carabaos pulling carts of newly harvested corn in the tough and rolling terrains of San Agustin, Isabela.

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PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

This always happen during the harvest season for a town whose main crop is corn; a usual scenario in the months of August to September for the wet season cropping and January to February for the dry season production period. What is happening in San Agustin—as far as the carabaos are concerned—is repeated elsewhere in Isabela, which is one of the top-producers of corn in the country that contributes a share of 17 percent of the national total corn output. The provincial production gets most of its total produce from Ilagan City and San Agustin which are in the top 10 corn producing towns and cities of the province. In the first semester of 2011, corn is planted to 215,970 hectares in Cagayan Valley. Corn production in the region registered an all-time output of 3.31 million metric tons, contributing to the 11.1 percent growth in the country’s crops subsector. Even with the prevalence of farm machinery, utilization of animal draft power for different farming activities is still seen as a critical component in the Philippine agricultural system particularly among smallholder farmers.

“Mas gusto ko pa rin ng kalabaw bilang pantrabaho sa bukid kasi puwedeng pakainin lang ng damo, hindi katulad ng traktora na mataas ang gastos sa pagmintena (I still prefer using the carabao for farm works because you feed them only with grasses unlike the tractor that requires high maintenance cost),” Danny Tamaris said. Tamaris, 56, a corn farmer in San Agustin for 20 years, employs carabaos to do the hauling and transportation of his farm produce. For his 10-hectare corn plantation, he said, harvesting may take up to one month. During the interview, though, Tamaris was harvesting two hectares of his land planted to corn. During this period, he hires 20 workers to complete the task for one day. The manpower included 16 corn pickers and four “karyador” (haulers) with their respective carabaos. Romulo Labugin, Francisco Garcia, and Rafael Castro, who are karyador, said that hauling corn a day earns them Php250 each. Their native carabaos, “which are our partners in business”, can each pull


10 to 15 tangkals of freshly harvested corn. A tangkal or cart is equivalent to 200 kilograms or four to six sacks of freshly picked corn. Labugin, Garcia, and Castro earn a living out of their carabaos’ indispensable service by renting them out to corn farmers such as Tamaris. Aside from the Php250 rental fee, their carabao gets another Php50 per sack when transporting farm products from Tamaris’ farm to the creek, a natural block to hurdle before the products can be transported to the market. The tractor takes over after hurdling the creek. The distance is travelled by the animal in 30 minutes to one hour depending on the load and the terrain. Like Tamaris who accords his carabaos with high concern like he would to his spouse, Garcia, 62, said he never thought of selling his carabao even for a high price. “Kahit bilhin ng Php50,000 ang kalabaw ko, hinding-hindi ko ibebenta dahil sa laki ng pakinabang nito sa buhay naming mag-anak (Even if someone offers Php50,000 for my carabao, I won’t sell it because of the great benefits it provides to my family),” Garcia said. He owns four native carabaos of which two are used as work animals and the others still young for work. His draft animals, he said, can pull from 10 to 12 tangkals each per day.

For owning carabaos that he can rent out to farmers, he earns an income of Php7,000 to Php8,000 a month. Tamaris said that because his farm is in a rolling hill, he is totally dependent to the karyadors’ carabaos in his corn production venture from land preparation up to harvesting. His farm is also partially planted to banana and rice. Stretching farther north of Isabela, Ilagan City also tops as the best corn producer in the province, making it an important contributor to the country’s corn sector. Like that in San Agustin, the carabao also plays a crucial job to accomplish in saving the harvests from the elements while still in the farm. On a stretch of the Maharlika highway at past noontime, a line of carabao-pulled carts filled with corn harvest, with the handler or caretaker astride the animal, walk on to reach some warehouses. Corn farmer Marlon Domingo, 28, of barangay Manaring said he still prefers carabaos for the hauling of his corn harvest from the plantation even if it is generally a plain area. “Lahat kami rito kalabaw pa rin ang ginagamit na panghakot. Iba pa rin ang lakas-kalabaw at nakakatulong pa ako sa kapwa dahil nabibigyan ko sila ng

pagkakakitaan (All of us here still use the carabao for hauling. The power of the carabao remains to be unique. I am also able to help others earn a living by hiring their animals),” he said. Apolonio Balmes and Mariano Ochoa, both 58, and are karyador, said they are very grateful with the livelihood that their carabaos bring them and the opportunity to provide an important service to farmers. In the peak of the harvest season, corn farmers even have a hard time finding draft carabaos that they can hire for the hauling job because, chances are, they are already booked in another farm. Balmes’ and Ochoa’s carabaos are paid Php100 to Php150 per travel depending on the distance. Their carabaos, they said, can make up to three travels of one to two hours each in a day. Their animals can go on working for six hours a day. For the likes of Balmes and Ochoa, who only earn a relatively good income of an average of Php500 a day, taking advantage of the peak seasons wherein their carabaos are mostly sought-after, seems to be most rewarding. During slack periods, though, they take good care of their carabaos in preparation for another round of good work in the oncoming cropping season. 11 11


Manog-carro, carabao, and cart: By

ERIC P. PALACPAC

They keep the sugar industry in Bago City rolling

F

rom September to March, trucks loaded with sugarcanes are common sights in the major roads of Negros Occidental. They signal the harvest season for the most valued crop of the province.

But have you ever wondered how the canes are transported from its source before finally loaded onto these trucks? A visit to the kampo (Ilongo term for cane field) can give us the answer. Consider the kampos in the city of Bago, located some 21 km south of Bacolod City, the provincial capital. The presence of haciendas (estate) devoted to 12

PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

Such a tandem is an interesting story to tell in the face of efforts to modernize Philippine agriculture via farm mechanization. Life as a manog-carro and a plantation worker Nelson Palomo, 48, of barangay Ma-ao, works at a 45-hectare hacienda owned by the Araneta-Roxas clan located in the same barangay. It is a job that he inherited from his parents who were plantation workers themselves.

sugarcane signifies the latter’s major role in the city’s economy. The City Planning and Development Office of Bago reported that in 2010 alone, some 20,000 hectares in the city were planted to sugarcane, which produced 1,987,752 LKG (50-kg bags) of sugar.

“Bisan mabug-at ang obra ko, naandan ko na kay halin sang katorse anyos pa lang ako naga-obra na ako sa hacienda (While my work is really hard, I got accustomed to it already because I have been working in the hacienda since I was 14 years old),” Nelson said.

At harvest time, tabaseros (cane cutters or harvesters) endure the scorching heat of the sun cutting the sugarcanes with a bolo and piling them on the ground. From there, the canes are collected manually by the manogcarro (cane hauler) then loaded onto a carro (wheeled cart pulled by a native carabao) for transport to the roadside and subsequent pick up by the trucks.

Indeed, Nelso’s job is not an easy task. As a “regular” plantation worker, he, together with his two co-workers (Jose Orbita Jr., 56, and Mark Patricio, 27) not only hauls sugarcane at harvest season but also works practically year-round in the hacienda. Note that sugarcane is an annual crop and is usually harvested in 10 or 12 months.

The partnership between a manogcarro and a carabao forms a very significant component of a sugarcane supply chain in this part of the country.

Works outside hauling include pasipsip (cutting the cane near its base to allow ratooning), fertilization, off barring and hilling-up, and weeding or maintenance of the cane field’s perimeter. Kalaanan


and some areas are sloping and become muddy and slippery when it rains),” Robin said.

The sugarcane miller (Victorias Mill) pays the hacienda owners based on the tonnage and pureza (purity of sugar) of hauled canes. Thereafter, the hacienda owner pays the manog-carro at a rate of Php58 per ton. On the other hand, the owner of the carabao used for hauling is paid Php19 per ton.

He also mentioned that during land preparation, a sugarcane plantation worker is paid Php200 a day, Php50 of which goes to the owner of the carabao that is used for plowing the soil.

During off barring and hilling-up operations, Nelson and his colleagues are paid Php268 (one-way cultivation) each per hectare. A third portion of this amount (around Php90) goes to the owner of the carabao that is used to perform the tasks. Nelson, Jose, and Mark do not own any carabaos. The hacienda owner just outsources these animals to provide the needed draft power during off barring, hilling-up, and hauling operations. Tractors are used generally for plowing the field. Likewise, tabaseros are separate laborers, hired purposely by the hacienda owners to cut and pile canes on the field at harvest. In performing the above tasks, the three workers receive from Php2,500 to Php3,000 each every 15th and 30th of the month. This translates to a monthly pay of around Php5,000 on the average. During “peak work season” (such as harvest season), each worker earns a maximum of around Php10,000 a month. Such income is just enough to support the basic needs of their respective families. Their incomes as plantation workers are augmented by small parcels of land that they cultivate for rice farming, the produce of which is solely for personal consumption. Robin Arroyo, 50, of barangay Binubuhan, also works as a manog-carro and a laborer in a 3,000 sq m-sugarcane field owned by Kagawad Joel Selorio. “Ginagamit namon ang karbaw kag carro sa paghakot sang tubo kay indi pwede o budlay mapaasulod ang traktora sa kampo kay batohon ang duta kag may mga parte sang kampo nga mabanglid labi na kon tig-ululan kay madanlog ang duta (We use carabao and bull carts in hauling canes because it is impractical to use a tractor in the cane field as it is stony

Photo by Charlotte Quillas

(ratooning) is only allowed for two years, i.e., two ratoon cycles. After which, the land needs to be prepared for planting new or fresh cane stalks or setts, a practice called kabag-ohan.

Carabao power Hauling of sugar canes by the carabaodrawn carts is a sight to marvel at. At the guidance of the manog-carro, the carabao (usually a bull) positions itself between a two-wheeled cart and a yoke attached to it. Thereafter, at the command of the manog-carro who chants “tik” (probably a shortened version of an Ilongo word santik, which means to “rub against”) repeatedly, the carabao lowers its head, lifts the yoke by its horns over its head until it positions onto its withers. The manog-carro then mounts the carabao and uses his legs as a riding aid to cue the animal to move forward and pull the loaded cart. From the cane field to the roadside, a practice the manog-carros called sayding (usually a short distance of 50-100 meters), the carabao pulls the loaded cart with ease in about five minutes. Once at the roadside, the manog-carro tilts the cart to unload it. Thereafter, the carabao drawn-cart travels back to the cane field for another round of loading and hauling. On the average, each round takes about 15-30 minutes of loading canes on the cart to its full capacity and five minutes of hauling. During the loading period, the carabao rests under the shade of the trees and feeds on sugarcane tops. The workers said they use native male carabaos in hauling sugarcanes because they are “efficient, easy to handle, do not tire easily, and heat-resistant.”

Some 800 kg to 1,000 kg of sugarcanes can be loaded on this cart pulled by this carabao. The cart’s body is made of steel and bamboo while the two attached wheels have protective tires. The assembly weighs around 400 kg. Thus, in total, a native carabao bull can pull over a ton of load. At the Araneta-Roxas hacienda, the manog-carros and the carabaos work from 3 a.m. to 8 a.m. and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. daily. At six hours a day (with a day off during Sunday), Nelson estimated that it will take five or six months to finish harvesting and hauling the whole 45 ha of sugarcane in the said hacienda utilizing just three manog-carros, three carabaodrawn carts, and some 30 tabaseros. During field preparation, carabaos are also utilized especially in smaller sugarcane areas. In barangay Binubuhan, for example, a carabao can finish plowing a hectare of cane field in around 14 days, working at six hours a day. Plowing and other field preparation activities, reportedly, will last for a month

turn to page 17 13 13


Mechanization and carabao power:

Useless without the other in the agricultural scene By ANSELMO S. ROQUE Photo by JGGOYAGOY

T

here was a time, which was not a long ago, that the practice of farm mechanization was introduced in the country. In its midst, the draft power of the carabao was somewhat relegated to the background or lost its sheen which for centuries held sway. Scaled-down types of machines, like the hand-tractor for the big tractor and portable thresher for the big thresher powered by tractors, appeared and became very popular for their respective uses. The hand tractors indeed did show their worth in making farm cultivation a lot easier and faster than the use of carabaos. The hand tractors pulled a number of discs for plowing the field and for “basag” and “halang” or breaking the clods of soil. They can finish the jobs in lest than the man-hours spent when harnessing the carabaos for these kinds of farm work. They also spared the farmers from strenuous farm works. They became very popular and many thought then that the carabaos would be eased out for these types of farm works.

Newsletter • July-September PCC PCC Newsletter • July-September 20112011 14 14

But then, the oil crisis struck the country. It somewhat brought questions on the appropriateness of the use of the widespread use of farm machines in a country that is dependent on its oil supply abroad. What if the oil crisis worsens? What if there would not be enough fuel for the machines? The production, particularly, of rice would be compromised. The importance of the carabao for its draft power came to the fore anew then.

The farmers, the rice farmers particularly, decided not to let go their respective carabaos. They would every now and then harness their animal for farm work when they couldn’t employ the use of farm machines because of the prohibitive cost and limited supply of fuel. Years after, when the supply of oil became plentiful again, the machines dominated anew farm cultivation and operation. Never mind even if the price of fuel now is very much higher than it used


to be two or three decades ago. After all, the farmers have become accustomed to its fluctuating high prices. There even was pronouncement that there is need to mechanize farm operation starting now. In fact, the drive toward farm mechanization “toward a respectable level”, as authorities behind it, said started last June. It will go on an increasing level next year and will crescendo till 2016 until the target number of equipment given to qualified beneficiaries is reached. The target number for hand tractors to be made available is 34,000 units and for thresher, 9,000 units, among others. These machines, including other units that will complete the need for farm mechanization will cost from Php8 billion to Php10 billion. The government, as announced by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, will shoulder 85 percent of the cost and the remaining 15 percent to

be shouldered by the beneficiaries. Where, then, will the carabao power be? Will the carabao’s use and importance to be sidelined anew? “We really need the carabao for use in the farm even in the midst of mechanization,” attested Wilfredo Bernardo of Barangay Villa Cuizon, Science

City of Muñoz. Willy, in his early 50’s, keeps his two carabaos although he owns three hand tractors and three threshing machines.

are earning money from it. This is also one reason why they keep their carabaos, he said. During harvest time, the carabao is indenspensable for its draft power.

“Kailangang-kailangan pa rin po ang “Siya po ang taga-hila ng makinang kalabaw sa mga trabaho sa bukid. Hindi panggiik (It is the one used for pulling the po puedeng walang tulong ang kalabaw thresher),” Bernardo said. (The carabao is very much needed in farm works. There’s no way that the carabao’s As it is a common practice today, the help will be dispensed with),” Bernardo small threshers are now brought in the said. rice fields where the farmers pile the bundles of the newly cut stalks of palay He said that before the riceland plants to do the threshing. It happens that undergoes the basag (first plowing), the during rainy season, the field is muddy carabao and the plow does the dukit. but the carabaos unfailingly answer the He explained that in dukit, the area need for raw power to pull and bring the near the levees or small dikes are plowed. machine where it is needed. The corners of the paddy field are also “Kailangang-kailangan din po ang plowed. kalabaw sa karyada. Kung walang “Hindi po nabubungkal ng hand kalabaw, di magiging matagumpay tractors ang mga iyon. Hindi po ang karyada (The carabao is very much matatamnan ng palay kapag hindi naneeded in karyada. If there is no carabao, dukit (These areas cannot be plowed by karyada will not be able to move on

successfully),” he said. the hand tractors. They cannot be planted Dukit, karyada, and pulling of the well if they are not subjected to dukit),” threshing machine. They may seem to Bernardo said. be small works but nonetheless crucial. He said that for every hectare, the Without the carabao, the machines alone agri-worker gets paid from Php300 cannot do them. to Php400 for the dukit. He added They are partners, not in opposition to considering that there are thousands of the other. They are both needed for more rice lands doing the dukit, many people successful ventures in rice production.

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steering the Power of ‘dadapilan’ By ROWENA G. BUMANLAG Photos by JGGOYAGOY

S

antiago City, in Isabela province, poses itself as Region 2’s “most vibrant, most talked-about, and most exciting premier city” that harbors both the dynamism of the urban and the rustic simplicity of the countryside.

One can immediately sense the interplay of the modern and the classic with the picturesque expanse of rice fields against a metropolitan landscape greeting the City’s passersby and guests. In the peak of activities during the cropping seasons, while the City is consumed in a bustle of varied concerns, the rich and vast agricultural land in the suburban areas epitomizes the inhabitants’ frenzied activities for securing food resources.

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PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

Take, for example, the case in barangay Bannawang Norte where a long span of adjacent fields are harvested of sugarcane. The sweltering heat engulfing the plantation is a usual atmospheric backdrop amidst a busy midday farm work. Farm workers, dressed in a manner that protects them from the heat, labor through the day until the farm work is done. Complementing the human labor, is the all-important contribution of the ever-faithful, unwavering farm ally—the carabao. The carabao dutifully fulfills its big role no matter how drudging it may be in the processing of the harvested canes. Even if it has to go through a circular course countless times, as it is hitched to the end of a log that is attached to the mill, it doesn’t flinch. The task is called panagdapil, an Ilocano term that refers to the traditional process of milling sugarcane in the countryside using a machine called dadapilan. Dadapilan is a sugarcane miller composed of two cylindrical mills that

squeezes the juice out of the sugarcane as the carabao walks in circle on and on. As the carabao follows its route while blindfolded, an operator feeds sugarcane stalks to the mill. The sucrose squeezed from the stalks is then collected in a container called silyasi. The sucrose, called bennal, is then boiled in a vat (sinublan) to produce molasses that can be turned to products such as basi (wine) and vinegar. Carabao draft power in this particular farm activity still exists in smallhold sugarcane-based farming systems. In bigger farms, however, it is being replaced by tractor. Estrelita Natividad, 69, president of the sugarcane cooperative in Bannawang Norte, said panagdapil using the carabao was prevalent in their area in the 1980s until 2005. The barangay is the producer of the “one-town, one-product” (OTOP) commodity of Santiago City, which is muscovado sugar, an organic brown sugar. It also produces other by-products of sugarcane such as patupat (a sweet native snack made of glutinous rice wrapped in coconut leaves) and sinuklob or panutsa (a sweet treat made of unrefined whole


railway system of hauling would serve the purpose.”

One of the pioneers of the sugarcane industry in Bannawang Norte in Santiago City, Estrelita Natividad, says the carabao is unquestionable in terms of its “power” in making the “dadapilan” works.

cane sugar). “Up until 2005, we used the carabao for sugarcane milling. Then we began shifting to tractor to power our dadapilan,” said Natividad. She added, though, that the carabao is unquestionable in terms of its “power” in making the dadapilan works. The length of time, however, that it is able to finish panagdapil had been the deciding factor for them to shift to the use of the tractor machine. It takes only 30 minutes to mill 14 tons of sugarcane when using a tractor, which consumes only Php22-worth of crude oil only to run it. In contrast, three carabaos are alternately hitched to the dadapilan until 14 tons of sugarcane is milled. The milling process begins at 4 and finishes at 7 a.m., Natividad said. She added that the carabaos are fed with molasses and sugarcane tops during their rest period. Although, somewhat displaced, the carabao is not totally ignored in so far as its role in panagdapil is concerned. Once in a while when the tractor is utilized for other farm works, Natividad said the carabao is still harnessed for work. She also said it never lost its indispensable worth in many other sugarcane-based farming activities such as harrowing, furrowing, and hauling.

Vice Nicko further said: “In the late 1980s, sugarcane planters began looking for mills outside their district that are more efficient and thus they abandoned the railway system and invested on trucks. That was supposed to kill the bull cart system but it did not. The reason is that harvesting sugarcane remains very laborintensive (i.e., it requires cutting, loading, and hauling). The tabaseros would only cut canes and would not like to load and haul the canes from the field to the trucks. Thus, manog-carros and bull carts persisted to this very day.”

Manog-carro, carabao, and cart... from page 13 when carabao power is utilized. This will entail a cost of approximately Php5,600 (labor and hire of carabao). In contrast, when a tractor is used, field preparation for one hectare will only last for two days but will entail a cost of Php12,000 (fuel, rental fee for the tractor, and its operator). Aside from saving on the cost of preparing the land, carabao power is more eco-friendly, i.e., it fits well in the nutrient cycle of a farm. An indispensable resource in sugarcane farming Many might wonder why in this age of agricultural modernization and farm mechanization, a majority of sugarcane farms in Negros Occidental (or perhaps even in other sugarcane-producing areas of the country) are still using draft carabaos for hauling. Bago City Vice Mayor Nicholas “Nicko” Yulo shared his views on the matter: “As far as sugarcane plantation is concerned, the bull cart hauling system plays a very important role. Before, the mills had no trucks but instead had a railway system. In such a system, the bull carts would bring the canes to a center, called a “switch” because the train engineer would switch a gadget to stop the train and allow loading of canes. Sugarcanes used to be milled only within a district and the

Vice Nicko himself owns a 10-ha sugarcane plantation also in barangay Maao and at the time of the interview, there were three manog-carros, three wheeled carts, six carabaos (possibly taking turns in hauling), and some 18 tabaseros working in a portion of his cane field. When asked what his opinions are regarding mechanized hauling, Vice Nicko said that in the whole of Bago City, he only saw one plantation using a mechanical hauler. “Since the dawn of sugarcane industry in the province, which dates back to Spanish colonization, bull carts were already there,” Vice Nicko further emphasized. Such is an affirmation that even in the advent of farm mechanization, the carabaos remain indispensable as a valued source of draft power in sugarcane plantation. But this is not to say that machines have no place in sugarcane farming. It just indicates that carabao power complements rather than competes with machines in consideration of its important role during certain stages of sugarcane production. With that in mind, we can expect the manog-carros, carabaos, and carts to stick around for many years to come. __________ The author acknowledges valuable inputs from Ms. Rutcheli Dilig of Bago City Government Office and Ms. Charlotte Quillas of PCC-La Carlota Stock Farm. 17


’Carabaos make

our day in the farm’’ – Cattaran farmers By JOAHNA G. GOYAGOY Photo by RGBUMANLAG

H

undreds of ages back, the carabao is equal to a man’s lifetime treasure. Hundreds of years fast forward, the carabao is still man’s precious property. In fact, the carabao remains a priceless commodity and an asset to the livelihood of many people.

PCCNewsletter Newsletter••July-September July-September2011 2011 18 18 PCC


Take for instance what is happening in Barangay Cattaran in Solana, Cagayan, a village about 493 km north of Manila. In this community, almost every family owns at least one carabao. As it is vastly an agricultural community, where the livelihood depends mainly on farming, the carabao is an indispensable partner. In Cattaran, the crossbred carabaos (a cross between a Murrah and a native buffalo) have become very popular because of its extra strength and unequalled perseverance compared to the native carabaos. In fact, the farmers attested, as early as two years old, the crossbred carabaos are already harnessed for heavy tasks in the fields. It is during harvest season, however, that the carabao’s strength is put to a maximum test. They normally pull carts that are as heavy as their body. At times, however, they are made to pull loads that are double their weight. More profit Rico Bangibang, 41, a resident of Cattaran, has been a farmer for eight years. Currently, he owns two hectares of land which he uses for the production of corn and vegetable such as eggplant, squash, pechay, okra, and sometimes peanut. He also plants tobacco during the summer season. In his farm works, he said he is dependent on his long-time partner---the

carabao. “Using the carabao helps me eliminate the use of tractor and lessens my production cost. This way, I obtain more profit especially when I get plenty of harvest,” he said in Tagalog. His only carabao, a male crossbred, always measures up to the heavy farm works that include land preparation, weeding, threshing, and hauling of the harvest. During the working season, he usually readies his carabao at 5 a.m. and works until 9 a.m. In the afternoon, he starts working again from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. But even with the scorching heat of the sun, the carabao seems to easily breeze through. The carabao is provided with sufficient food and is grazed in the riverbank after a day’s toil. Aside from making his works a lot easier, his carabao lessens his expenditures in crop production. “With my carabao, I don’t need to hire additional people to work in my farm. All that I have to do is feed it with enough grass and it compensates me in return with its strength in completing the farm works,” he said. Most of his vegetable products are marketed at the Tuguegarao City market.

Again, his carabao is a handy power in pulling the cart loaded with goods from the field up to the highway where they will be loaded to a jeepney. The travel time for negotiating the one kilometer distance is from 30 minutes to one hour. At harvest season, the community works together in farming, which in practice is carried out for many, many years. They call it ‘ivvet’, an Itawis term, a system by which everyone joins in activities like rice planting and harvesting. After every activity, everyone partakes the foods and refreshment. Asked how important the carabaos are to them, other farmers simply said: “Kayamanan ang pagkakaroon ng kalabaw (Having a carabao is a treasure).” “Nabubuhay kami sa kalabaw. Kasi hindi mo naman kayang hilahin ang hinihila ng kalabaw. Isa pa, kung farmer ka at may sarili kang kalabaw, hindi mo na kailangang mag-hire lagi at mas makatitipid pa. (The carabao is our source of living because you cannot pull what the carabao can. One more thing, if you are a farmer and you own at least one carabao, you won’t need to hire extra helper and you can save even more).” They added: “If our carabao is still able for hard works, we won’t sell it because without it, it would mean great, great loss.”

1919


For pineapple produce

Carabaos bring ‘em closer to market

F

or thousands of people who work the land for a living, the carabaos have long been treasured as their best friend and ally.

Back in the old days, farmers used to do farm works by hand such as tilling and hauling the produce. With the help of the carabao, this back breaking toil was lifted off the farmer’s back and expanded his ability to produce. In San Pablo City, Laguna, growing pineapples is a common sight. One of its villages, Barangay Del Remedio is not different from the others. The farmers in this villages plant pineapples harvested every 16 to 18 months. Harvest season takes place from May to June. This is when interested buyers gather in the barangay to buy the pineapple produce. They need a transport facility, however, to haul the commodity to the roadside to be picked up by cargo vehicle for transport to the market. The use of the carabao to pull the pineapple-laden cart is an indispensable and economical farm power.

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PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

The harvested pineapple are manually collected and then loaded in the cart. The buyers who wait at the roadside pay Php200 as hauling fee.

By KHRIZIE EVERT M. MARCELO Photos by JGGOYAGOY

Roberto Bartolome, 48, for additional income, offers hauling services for a year now. His 12- year-old male crossbred is his reliable help in doing this kind of work. Once a week, during harvest time, his cart is rented for hauling the pineapples. He collects from Php800 to Php1,200 for a one-day service. His regular source of income comes from planting corn. At times, too, he does hauling services with the use of his carabaos at the rate of Php200 per haul. He earns Php5,000 for this type of hauling service. In conditioning his animal for a day’s work, Mang Roberto prepares a special drink for his carabao. “Kailangan busog ang kalabaw ko bago magsimulang maghakot. Para lalo siyang lumakas sa pagtatrabaho, ipinaggagayak ko siya ng palyat sa gabi (The carabao must be fed well before using it. I prepare “palyat” at night time to give it additional energy for working),” Bartolome said.


What used to be a work in loading and transporting fruits only limited to the menfolk has changed dramatically as this woman here shows she can equal the job with the carabao as a common ally.

Palyat is a by-product of copra meal after the coconut oil is extracted from it. He said he soaks one kilo of it in water overnight. He gets less than a liter of its extract which is good for four times of serving to his animal, he added. The palyat serves as the vitamins of his carabao, Mang Roberto said. According to him, he learned this technique while he was attending seminars about agriculture. A typical day for his farm work starts from seven in the morning and lasts until four in the afternoon. The carabao pulls the cart loaded with 800 to 1,500 pieces of pineapple from the pineapple field to the roadside for about 10 to 20 minutes of travel time. He then tilts the cart for unloading. The carabao drawn-cart returns to the field for another loading. While loading, the carabao rests under the trees where grasses are available for eating. During afternoon it is given a break, and before hauling again, he takes his carabao to the river for an afternoon bath. He said his carabao in maximum capacity can travel back and forth with load for six times. Domingo Danio, one of the haulers,

when asked to choose between a tractor and carabao for hauling, he said: “Carabao can perform a full range of farm duties. It can offer a low initial investment compared to the purchase of a small tractor where it is more expensive to maintain.” “They start working anytime I want, unlike the tractor, it is useless without gas on it,” he added. Between the months of harvest period, he used his carabao for tilling and plowing his farm land. Augusto Funtanar, 44, also hauls for added income. Aside from hauling pineapples, his service is offered, too, in hauling coconuts. He gets to earn Php500 to Php700 every 45 days of collecting coconuts from the trees and transporting it to the roadside. One of his sons helps him in doing this work. He owns a two and half year old male carabao. Like Bartolome, Funtanar shares his secret in caring for his animal. “Every afternoon, I prepare its water mixed with salt for it to eat more. I want it to be physically fit during our working hours because it helps me earn extra money,” he said.

These newly-husked coconuts, like that of the pineapple harvest, are loaded in a carabao-pulled cart and transported to the highway where a jeepney awaits to bring them to the market.

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Taming the

wild,

WILD mountain trail

By JOAHNA G. GOYAGOY Photos by RGBUMANLAG

Lorenzo Ramos

B

arangay Buringal lies at the foot of a forested mountain. The mountain presents a splendor brought about by the formation of towering mounds, covered by blankets of thick forests. The grayish-blue clouds that hover above them provide added grandeur.

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PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

Buringal, with a land area of 7,909.94 hectares and a population of approximately 2,500, is one of the nine barangays of Paracelis in Mountain Province. Paracelis is a third class municipality about 490 kilometers from Manila. It is bounded on the northeast by the city of Tabuk in Kalinga.

with sharp curves and steep slopes.

Among the nine barangays of Paracelis, Buringal is the farthest from the town’s Poblacion, which is about 30 km away. It is, however, only about 10 km from the city proper of Tabuk. Hence, the residents usually market their products to Tabuk.

It is only the slow but sure-footed animal can take the challenge—the carabao.

Next to Buringal is Barangay Bacari where the end of a farm-to-market road is situated. It is in this barangay where there is a waiting shed where residents of Buringal should go and wait for the public utility jeepneys that can take them to Tabuk City. From the waiting shed, the road or the trail to Buringal can be viewed and regarded. It is a route that snakes through mountains after mountains, winding and covered with rough stones and dust during summer and mud during the wet season. It is two meters wide and peppered

While all the other barangays of Paracelis can be reached through the use of motor vehicles, it is only in Buringal that a non-motorized ride is almost next to impossible. Or if one dares to use a motorcycle to reach it, it is tantamount to courting suicide.

Carabao power As one gets to the waiting shed in Barangay Bacari, she gets a view of the road to Buringal. It seemed a lifeless road, muddy as it was wet season and seemingly going to nowhere as the mountain and the forest provide a vast expanse unmarked by any boundary. There she will meet someone who describes how it is and what kind of transport is used to traverse that road to reach Buringal. “The carabao-drawn sleds are the only means of transport here that can convey passengers and good to and from Buringal,” Lorenzo Ramos, 29, of Sitio (sub-village) Cassag, said.


He is one of those who make available a carabao-drawn sled as a transport facility. It is in the waiting shed that the passengers from Buringal wait for the motor vehicle that will take them to their destination.

municipality. From this kind of work, he is paid Php15 per hour. Since he only works for five hours, he usually takes home less than a hundred pesos to his family. Four-hour trek

There are only three available public utility jeepneys (PUJ), however, that commonly provide alternate trips every week. When the weather is favorable, though, there is available trip every day.

With this meager income, he can barely sustain his family’s needs, thus, to augment it, he decided to venture as a carabaosled transport facility ‘driver’.

Such is the situation in that part of Paraceli. That’s the reason why the carabao and the sled are valued as much as the land. Without it, it is really a challenge to traverse by foot the tenkilometer tortuous route with ease and assurance to catch the rare trip bound to the city market.

Every day, he wakes up at 3 a. m. to prepare the carabao and sled for an early trip. He waits for passengers who have with them their harvest of vegetables and fruits to be sold at the city market. Oftentimes, when there is bountiful harvest, only the commodities are loaded onto the sled while he and the owners of the goods walk with the carabao.

Ramos said that in Sitio Cassag alone, there are at least 30 carabaos, about ten of which are used for public transport. The rest are used for contour farming in the hilly or mountainous areas. In other places in their barangay, there are carabao owners who utilize their animal as transport facility. And they get paid for it. Ramos has two children, aged three and six. He has to work triple-time just to feed his family and send his children to school. When the cropping season is on, he tends his neighbor’s cropland. He usually works up to 10 hours a day but only gets paid for Php30. Sometimes, he is hired for a construction work in other barangays or even to the neighboring

In sitio Limmubong at barangay Mapalad Centro in Isabela province, Narciso Dunuan regards his carabao as his only faithful ally in transporting his rice produce since motorized vehicles are also next to impossible like that in barangay Buringal.

Most often than not, the walk would take four hours up to the waiting shed in Bacari, in time for the first regular trip of the jeepney. Certainly, the trek is a stab to the still dark surrounding and to the muddy road. It is only at the middle of the trip that the trail is lighted by the morning sun.

Nelson Dulliyao (left) and Lorenzo Ramos reading a PCC Balita publication while waiting for their passengers to arrive and trek back to Buringal. back to their village. “Nu nakaluganen dagijay pasaherok, agurayak inggana alas-dos ti malem manen ta diay nuang ku met lang ti pangiluganan da dagijay marketen da pasubli idjay Cassag (When my passengers ride on the jeepney, I will wait for them because they have to load the goods bought from the market on my sled for transport to their homes),” Ramos said. Big help

Since the road and travel time are unforgiving, the sled can only load up to 180 kilograms. Each kilogram-load is exacted with a Php5 transport fare.

“Even if my job is tough, especially that I need to wait for my passengers the whole afternoon, at least the carabao brings bigger help to my family,” He continued.

When he’s lucky, he would earn Php200 at the minimum and Php300 at the maximum per trip. As he doesn’t own the carabao, the amount is divided between him and the animal owner.

He added: “I earn bigger income in this kind of work than tilling other’s land. In this job, what I do is only to maneuver the carabao on the road and feed it with abundant grass.”

After unloading his passengers’ goods, Ramos would sit under the wood and galvanized iron-made waiting shed for six to seven hours. There, he would wait until the arrival of the jeepney at around 2:30 p. m. and take on passengers

Ramos said that he is thankful that his kind of work, though difficult and requires much patience, give him a kind of livelihood to sustain the needs of his family. “But of course, I thank my partner – the carabao. Without it, I wouldn’t be able to do it,” Ramos said in Ilocano.

23 23


It ’s a

‘piece of cake’ for Kevin

Text and photos by

ROWENA G. BUMANLAG

A

t six years old, Kevin can pull off a hard labor for four hours a day—that of mixing with his bare feet 50-wheelbarrows load of clay and 10 loads of sand. In between breaks, he “entertains” visitors coming elsewhere in the country by posing for nice shots of souvenir photos in this special domain where he is the king. Kevin, a Filipino-Chinese businessman’s ace in his famous “Ruby Pottery” in barangay Pagburnayan, Vigan City, Ilocos Sur, is a Philippine carabao.

Fidel Go, 73, said there’s no better and efficient alternate to Kevin in terms of mixing the clay for his pottery business. Not even the noble machine, he emphasized, can approximate Kevin's big contribution in his business. “Kevin has always been very effective in doing his job. A machine won’t be able to efficiently blend such viscose soil,” Go said.

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PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

Go was bestowed the “National Folk Artist” award for pottery by the National

Commission on Culture and the Arts in 1990.

Kevin’s caretaker and handler Arnold Dacanag, 53, vouched for the efficiency and effectiveness of the animal’s performance. Harnessing Kevin to work, he said, is relatively an easy task for him because all that was for him to do is guide the animal at its route in the clay pit, which is simply circular. The pit, Dacanag explained, is where Kevin walks on round and round on the clay, sand, and water until the right mix and consistency are attained.


Philippine National Folk Artist Fidel Go finishes off a medium-sized “burnay” with just a few expert hand maneuvers that he willingly and passionately demonstrates to the delight of tourists in this popular part of the Heritage Village in Vigan City. Each day, Kevin starts work from 8:30 until 10 in the morning before he takes a rest while Dacanag does other chores at the factory. They both resume work at 11:30 a.m. and conclude their task at lunchtime. In terms of feeding Kevin, Dacanag said that he doesn’t follow any special ration for the animal to be as strong as he is. He said he gives Kevin his staple meal of corn leaves every day and sometimes he serves a drink of water with chaff in the afternoon. “At times, Kevin would appear to be sluggish. In such case, I make him rest for a while and he makes good at work again,” Dacanag said. Out of the mixture that Kevin perfects for day, 80 pieces of tapayan can be made. Tapayan is a Filipino term for an earthen jar used for storing water. In the countryside, this jar still remains a kitchen mainstay. The pottery business, which Go inherited from his father in the 1970s, is one of the frequently visited burnay factories in Vigan City. The city has become a famous destination among tourists in the Ilocandia, not only because

of its historic Antillan ancestral houses, but also because of its artistic ingenuity showcased by the likes of Go. Burnay is a “clayware” used as a fermentation vat for bagoong (fish paste) and wine from sugarcane juice. Fashioned by the skillful hands of a potter using the potter’s wheel, the earthen jar is made of grade A clay commonly harvested from west Vigan. It uses fine sand as a tempering material and fired in brick and clay-made ground kilns at a temperature of up to 1,5000C. Firing takes about 20 to 26 hours and for cooling, a day, Go said. Ruby Pottery produces about 80 to 100 pieces of medium-sized “clayware” per day. Aside from walk-in buyers who are mostly tourists, Go supplies a bulk of his produce to salt manufacturers for making salt-beds, like those being done in Paoay. He said he used to rake a good income out of the business when he was still getting a huge demand from supplier of pottery craft in Belgium, Holland, United States, and Australia. But since the 9/11 attack in the US, his business became sluggish, Go said. “We remain in business only because of the untiring support we get from

“The clay which I use in making “burnay” is kneaded to perfection— one of the crucial factors in the making of a durable clayware. Thanks to Kevin.” the local government unit and the Department of Trade and Industry,” he said, “In fact, they never fail to invite us in exhibits and also, our mayor always brings his guests here.” Go revealed that when his entries were evaluated for the competition in 1990, it was even mistaken to be made of steel by one of the judges because of the way it was treated and fashioned out. His jars, he said, undergo intense “closed firing” that results in very high temperature. He said his method is unlike “open firing” or low temperature used by other “clayware” manufacturers, such as the procedure done in the making of terracotta jars. “What’s unique about us is that we can execute designs that cannot be imitated by others. Our designs are not patented, so other manufacturers can copy them, if they can,” Go jokingly, albeit true, said. 25 25


A joyful ride

for a joyful tour By KHRIZIE EVERT M. MARCELO Photos by JGGOYAGOY

A

soft flip of the rope accompanied by “tsk,tsk,tsk” exhortation sound, the power behind the cart full of tourists started to work. There’s no internal combustion engine involved in there; only the motive power of a versatile animal, the carabao. This is not a slice of life a hundred years back, but a typical present-day happening in the life of a carabao pulling a uniquely designed colorful cart loaded with people. It is for a rural village tour inside the famous Villa Escudero Plantations and Resort in San Pablo, Laguna. Agri-tour site Converted from a coconut farm into an agri-tourism business in the 1980’s,

26

PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

the 450-hectare plantation draws 300 people on an ordinary days and as many as 7,000 each day during its peak seasons. The business employs 400 workers who live either inside the community and the neighboring towns.

“It is a 15-minute cart ride and fiveminute walk that shows part of a lifestyle in the province. Everything is in slow phase, that somehow changes the fastpaced life of people coming from Manila or any urban place,” said Balcazar.

“We started in 1981. We converted it into a resort because the price of coconut was going down. We absorbed the farmers and they are now part of the tourism work force,” Carmela Q. Balcazar, Director of Villa Escudero, said.

A tourist, Maina Victoria of Quezon City who was on her first visit to the resort, said she was very excited in riding the carabao-drawn cart. “It is nice to be able to experience rural life,” she said.

She said the carabaos, originally used for hauling coconuts were “employed”. The “kariton” (bullock carts) was improvised to fit to the needs of the tourists. It even has a retractable ramp for wheelchair access. Upon arrival to the resort, tourists are greeted warmly by welcomers dressed in traditional clothes. A welcome drink is served at once. Riding on carabao-drawn carts, they move around to view the plantation and see the traditional way of Filipino life in the villages. Along the way, they are also entertained with the singing of native songs by the local cultural group.

The cart can seat 20 people including the carabao handler, singer, and guitarist. Its body and flooring are made up of steel while the four rows of five seater are made up of bamboo. The “paod” (yoke) is made up either of madre cacao, duhat or guava trees specifically measured to the carabao’s nape for easy movement and comfort. The wheels are with bearings for easy maneuvering. The selection Balcazar said carabaos used for tourism are well selected. “Aside from good body appearance, it must have good temperament. The safety of our guests is our first priority.” The resort buys its stock from the Padre Garcia Livestock Auction Market in


Carabao-pulled carts that ferry tourists within its compound is one of the main attractions in Hacienda Escudero located in San Pablo, Laguna.

Padre Garcia, Batangas. The carabaos sold here are from Bicol and Pangasinan. According to Manuel Artillaga, the animal supervisor and also a handler, the carabaos they buy are from 5 to 10 years of age. The price usually ranges from Php23,000 to Php25,000. “Kung bumili kami ng kalabaw, pinipili namin ‘yung may alam na at ginagamit sa pagbubukid. Mabait dapat at hindi malikot kapag hinahawakan. Dapat maluluwang ang mga bibig at maigsi lang kasi ibig sabihin ay matakaw ang kalabaw. Meron kasi na makipot at mahahaba ang bibig. Kapag ganun daw, mahina at pihikan kumain, kahit pagod ay mahirap pakainin (When we buy a carabao we select those who were already harnessed for farm works and are easily tamed. We also see to it that their mouth is wide but short because they are easier to feed unlike a carabao which has a narrow and long mouth that rarely eats especially when it gets tired),” shared Artillaga. He added “Our forefathers also taught us that we should select those carabaos whose cowlick is in the right position and not those whose cowlick is positioned in between their eyes. According to them, it means that they easily get afraid and jolted. For those carabaos which have cowlick on their back, they easily get exhausted from work. They call it ‘bilad’ which means they easily get tired under the heat of the sun.” “When the two white spots on its skin is connected, it means that the carabao is

misbehaving,” he also said. The cowlick of a carabao serves as identification of the owner and which is also included in the documentation paper as its birth markings. Currently, the resort maintains 27 female and two castrated male carabaos. Training the carabao for transportation After buying the carabao, it is quarantined for a week for monitoring purposes. It is also allowed to rest for a few days before the handler starts the training. “The handler touches the carabao constantly to feel at ease with him,” said Artillaga. He said the newly acquired carabao is trained for pulling the cart for one week. For the first two days, the handler will only pull the harness of the carabao attached to an empty cart, guiding it to the common stops where visitors are toured around the plantation. The handler rides the cart for the next two days. When the carabao is already familiar with its route, it is exposed to crowded places. The training is done during cool periods of the day. It usually takes one hour in the morning and 30 minutes in the afternoon. There are 10 handlers employed to take care of the animals. Each of them usually manages three to four carabaos. Rotation of schedule is observed in their

work. The management decided to have a shifting schedule to let the animals rest from transporting visitors. During December to August, which is the peak season, almost all of the carabaos are used for transport. But in the lean months of August to November, only one or two carabaos of each handler are used. The carabaos are used three to four times a day for the village tour. Each cart is assigned to the handler with different names for identification. The designated name of the cart also serves as the name of the carabao. These names are “Tisay”, “Pogi”, “Madonna”, “Sexy”, “Mutya”, “Maganda”, “Jango”, “Luningning”, “Malakas”, and “Mahinhin”. From the 29 carabaos, “Pogi”, an albino, is the most popular and most admirable to most of the visitors due to its likeable manners and charm. It is also the oldest among the carabaos. To keep the animals fit for the job, they are fed with different kinds of grass and are given ample supply of water by the handler. Part of the grooming is the shaving of the carabaos every two months. The carabaos also have a maternity leave during their pregnancy period to avoid abortion. The management also prioritizes on the health of its herd. Vitamins are provided and laxative is administered every six months to one year. 27


‘CPG’, Bohol:

An enclave for native carabaos By LEINEFE B. LIBRES Photos by RGBUMANLAG

A

town in Bohol, named after a former president who popularized the “Filipino first” policy, is turning out to be a model for conserving and improving native carabaos for sustained livelihood.

with committed raisers who are looking forward to having a sustainable livelihood out of what the native carabaos offer. This GIP activity is quite different from the usual campaign of PCC, which is the crossbreeding of native carabaos with high quality murrah buffalo (MB) breed. Employing the techniques in crossbreeding, like using artificial insemination (AI) and natural mating via bull loan program (BLP), the project in Bohol uses high quality native carabao semen and select native bulls for the conservation and propagation program.

With the goal “quality native carabaos for quality meat products”, the Philippine Carabao Center at Ubay Stock Farm (PCCUSF) spearheads the “Conservation by Utilization of Native Buffalo Program” in the island town of Pres. Carlos P. Garcia (CPG) in Bohol.

It was in August of last year when the program was launched in “CPG” town, which is also known by the name “Pitogo”. Together with the provincial government (LGU) of Bohol and the local government unit of CPG and the Department of Agriculture-Regional Field Unit 7 (DA RFU7), the PCC-USF launched the program.

Basically a genetic improvement program (GIP), it aims to have by 2025 a big number of quality native carabaos

But prior to program launching, a strategic planning workshop was conducted, with the barangay captains,

28

PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

Barangay Livestock Aids (BALA), Sangguniang Bayan (SB) members, and Department of Agriculture (DA) technicians participating, to set out the program plan. Part of the planning output was the identification of the barangays as pilot areas for the program. The workshop also identified the steps in the implementation of the program starting from the propagation of native carabaos to continuous selection of quality traits until such time that the desired trait of the animal is acquired. The barangays identified as pilot areas for the program were Basiao, Bogo, Campamanog, Popoo, San Vicente, and Villa Milagrosa. Their selection was based on the high population of breedable (3 years and above) female carabaos in their respective areas. Schedules for estrus synchronization (ES), AI, and ear-tagging were also set. The desired traits for the best male and female breeders were also identified to serve as guide of the continuous selection


process. Dr. Agapita J. Salces, a geneticist and a former Senior Agriculturist of DA RFU-7 and now a University of the Philippines-Los Baños professor, helped in the aspect of the selection of the best breeders. For sure, the evolved plans moved toward its concretization. Two weeks after the launching of the program, a weeklong ear-tagging, ES and AI activities were conducted as part of the practicum of the 9th AI training conducted by PCC-USF. AI, a reproductive biotechnique, was used as a means for propagating the quality feature of the identified native bulls used as semen donors. ES on the other hand, is the injection of hormone

Nine of the bulls were released in August 2010. The tenth bull, released to the care of Alan Macalam,37, of barangay Basiao in 2008 has already produced 35 calves. A question as to why CPG was chosen to be the native conservation area among all other towns in Bohol may be asked. The answer was given by the center director of PCC-USF. “It is in honor of late Pres. Carlos P. Garcia who established the Filipino first policy”, said Dr. Caro B. Salces, center director of PCC-USF. Since this program, he added, deals with “improving, utilizing and patronizing our own”, it is thus appropriate to choose Pitogo for the purpose. Mr. Floriano Bernales, chief of the Buffalo Impact Zone Development Program (BIZDP) and at the same time the project manager, added that CPG’s topographic location was also put into consideration in selecting the town for the program.

to female carabaos to “reset the estrous (heat) cycle” of the animal. When synchronized, the carabao is expected to be in-heat three days after the injection and is thus ready for the AI. Ear-tagging, on the other hand, was done for monitoring and traceability purposes. A total of 100 breedable female carabaos were ear-tagged while 28 were artificially inseminated. As many as 372 breedable carabaos in the island town were diagnosed as pregnant during that time. The town has a total of 661 native carabaos based on an inventory in 2010. To complement the AI program, the BLP was also intensified. To date, a total of 10 native bulls of at most 2 years of age were released in CPG as an indirect mode of transfer. This means that the transfer of ownership to the identified farmerrecipient was through the LGU stipulated in a provision of a Memorandum of Agreement among PCC, provincial veterinary office, and LGU regarding the program.

CPG is located in the northern part of Bohol. It is a few minutes boat ride from the mainland and totally surrounded by sea making it ideal for maintaining a haven for all-native carabao conservation and propagation. There are virtually no impediments for a successful purebreeding program. Human population in Pres. Carlos P. Garcia town, based on a 2007 census, is more than 20,118. It is mostly populated by farmers and fisher folks. “Collaborative efforts underlie all the activities relative to the program in the CPG town as in all the undertakings being conducted by the PCC-USF,” Dr. Salces said. “The provincial government of Bohol, DA RFU-7, Advocate for Philippine Fair Trade Incorporated (APFTI), and CPG-LGU, particularly, are very helpful in carrying out this program,” Dr. Salces added. He is certain that more quality native carabaos will be seen in the Pres. Carlos P. Garcia town in the near future.

PCC for PC Complementing the organized efforts of the Philippine Carabao Center’s Genetic Improvement Program to upgrade the potential of the Philippine carabao (PC) as producer of milk and meat is a sustainable selection and production system for elite PCs.

T

he gene pool component of the m Carabao Development Progra aims to develop a mechanism tion of for the selection and propaga riverine d the best available swamp an buffaloes. station In northern Luzon, a satellite e selection abl was established for a sustain lippine Phi and production center for elite netic Ge the carabaos (PCs) in support to ive nat for C Improvement Program of PC carabaos. PCs is the Hosting this gene pool of elite ague campus. Isabela State University in Ech ation because It was deemed as an ideal loc population it is in this region that carabao ers 70 ha of is highest. The gene pool cov maintaining improved pasture suitable for tter and and providing adequate dry ma the best PCs. nutrition for maintaining 50 of nucleus These animals form an open source herd (ONH) as a sustainable and ion ect sel ere wh of superior PCs tinuously con are ls ma ani elite propagation of testing, the done. Through performance herd for elite an of t par best animals form g, and source progeny-testing, genebankin ng purposes. of genetic material for breedi d out Outstanding bulls are source rch for sea al ion reg through national and n with the atio rdin coo in outstanding animals ional field reg , ters cen PCC regional network e, and ltur icu Agr of nt units of the Departme t bulls bes The ts. uni the local government tion. duc pro en sem will be harnessed for ng female On the other hand, outstandi H and used ON the progenies are retained in rs and eife rah as replacement stocks. Ca made are ed ect carabulls which are not sel ng. edi available to farmers for bre s, With the sustained CDP for PC e is tim r improvement of the ONH ove expected.

29 29


info bits

Power your

draft buffalo for better

Photo by RGBUMANLAG

performance

EVEN with the advent of mechanized farming, the carabao still plays an important role in major farm operations such as land tillage, hauling, and pulling of loads.

To maximize the animal’s strength, the following should always be considered: 30

PCC Newsletter • July-September 2011

DRAFT ANIMALS

NEED to be given proper nutrition to reciprocate its work performance. Apart from the fresh forage and crop residue to be given, supplemental concentrates at a rate of 1 to 2% of the body weight should be made available. In addition, mineral mixture should be fed at a rate of 1 to 1.5% of the concentrate mix. USE MALE CARABAOS as draft animals. Such animals, however, should be castrated for easy handling and docility. Females utilized for work are believed to be naturally inferior in performance.

MOST SMALL FARMERS use their milking carabaos also for work. This practice adversely affects milk production. However, if the farmer does not own other working animals, the breeding may be timed such that the lactation period will not coincide with the peak of the farm operations. CARABAOS DO NOT perspire because of the absence of sweat glands. Because of this, they tire easily, affecting the efficiency of work. To overcome the problem, set the carabao to work as early as 5:00 to 10:00 in the morning. Give the work animals sufficient feed (grains or forage) and rest in sheds of safe wallows to dissipate body heat. Source: Livestock Division,

DA-RFU-VII


advertorial

31


K

aryada for corn harvest, with carabaos as the mighty power, makes the corn fields in San Agustin, Isabela exude dynamism and the true sense of “bayanihan� coming alive at harvest time. [Photo by RGBumanlag]


PCC Newsletter vol 10 no 3