Carabao rais­ing added fea­ture to Philrice’s ‘Palaya­manan Plus’

Agriculture - - Contents - BY CHRISSALYN L. MARCELO

THE PHILIP­PINE CARABAO CEN­TER (PCC) is boost­ing the fea­tures of the “Palaya­manan Plus Nues­tra” pro­ject of the Philip­pine Rice Re­search In­sti­tute (PhilRice) with the ad­di­tion of the rais­ing of dairy carabaos as an­other source of in­come for farm­ers adopt­ing the pro­ject. ‘Palaya­manan’, a com­bi­na­tion of the terms ‘palayan’ (rice farm) and ‘ya­manan’ (gold mine), sug­gests that a rice farm can be a gold mine. It is a fit­ting name for a pro­ject that re­volves around the con­cept of in­ten­sive and in­te­grated farm­ing in which ev­ery inch of space on the farm is uti­lized for pro­duc­tion of var­i­ous crops and live­stock.

“The ‘Nues­tra’, on the other hand, is a model that will serve as a ser­vice provider for tech­nolo­gies, ca­pac­ity en­hance­ment ac­tiv­i­ties, cus­tom ser­vices, en­ter­prise de­vel­op­ment, fi­nanc­ing, and mar­ket ac­cess to the small­holder farm­ers,” said Rizal G. Co­rales, pro­gram leader.

He added that “Nues­tra” stands for “Nu­cleus Es­tate Strat­egy” and that it is now be­ing fully de­vel­oped in an area within the PhilRice sta­tion in the Sci­ence City of Muñoz in Nueva Ecija.

Un­der Palaya­manan, PhilRice will in­te­grate farm­ing sys­tem to in­crease pro­duc­tion in­puts and farm­ers’ in­comes. “In Palaya­manan, di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, in­ten­si­fi­ca­tion and in­te­gra­tion (DII) strate­gies will be used. It is ex­pected to in­crease pro­duc­tion out­puts and there­fore the in­come of the farm­ers,” added Co­rales.

Di­ver­si­fi­ca­tion, he ex­plained, means di­ver­si­fy­ing farm in­puts to di­ver­sify pro­duc­tion and in­come. It in­cludes other crops such as corn and peanuts, and rais­ing live­stock, par­tic­u­larly goats—and now it in­cludes carabao rais­ing. In­ten­si­fi­ca­tion, on the other hand, means in­creas­ing the crop­ping in­ten­sity over space and over time. “It means max­i­miz­ing the use of land to plant ad­di­tional crops, for­ages, or roughages in be­tween har­vest sea­sons, [when] most farm­ers’ land [is] un­der­uti­lized.”

“In­te­gra­tion means all the [com­po­nents]—crops or com­modi­ties that will be es­tab­lished on the farm—should com­ple­ment each other, such that it will be…ben­e­fi­cial to the [both the] farmer and to the en­vi­ron­ment.”

Co­rales said that the pro­ject would not be pos­si­ble with­out col­lab­o­rat­ing with other govern­ment agen­cies and pri­vate en­ti­ties, adding that they were cur­rently co­or­di­nat­ing with var­i­ous govern­ment

agen­cies and pri­vate en­ti­ties that could help them in the pro­ject. One such govern­ment agency is the PCC.

“Last Oc­to­ber 2014…[through] a mem­o­ran­dum of agree­ment (MOA), signed by PCC act­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Dr. Ar­nel N. Del Barrio and then PhilRice ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor Dr. Eufemio Rasco, both par­ties agreed to help each other in the pro­ject. PCC is in charge of pro­vid­ing the live­stock (dairy buf­falo) com­po­nent and rel­e­vant sup­port for the en­vis­aged Palaya­manan Plus Nues­tra pro­ject,” Co­rales said.

Un­der the MOA, PCC is to al­lo­cate five to ten head of dairy buf­faloes as an added com­po­nent to the pro­ject.

“Though our pro­ject is still un­der ex­per­i­men­ta­tion, we ini­tially im­ple­mented it in Bu­la­can, Pam­panga, and Aurora. This year, we are plan­ning to open and im­ple­ment it in Nueva Ecija, Pam­panga, Pan­gasi­nan and Is­abela,” Co­rales said.

They are still re­quest­ing as­sis­tance from PCC for ad­vice on where to lo­cate the pro­ject that will en­list dairy carabao farm­ers in Nueva Ecija. He said that Dr. Del Barrio sug­gested to them to im­ple­ment the pro­ject close to PCC’s es­tab­lished dairy buf­falo farm­ers since most of those in­di­vid­u­als are knowl­edge­able about the task at hand and are al­ready ca­pa­ble of man­ag­ing buf­faloes.

Dr. Del Barrio said his agency is 100 per­cent com­mit­ted to pro­vid­ing as­sis­tance and col­lab­o­rat­ing with the PCC to con­trib­ute to the suc­cess of the pro­ject, adding that carabao rais­ing can con­trib­ute to a farmer’s in­come through the sale of the an­i­mal’s milk, meat, and ma­nure.

“If a par­tic­u­lar farmer [is] given five dairy carabaos and three of them will lac­tate at the same time, he will be har­vest­ing at least 15 liters of milk ev­ery day in a 305[day] lac­ta­tion pe­riod. This means that [farm­ers] will be earn­ing at least R225,000 as ad­di­tional in­come from [their farms].”

“The sell­ing of male calves and the [ver­mi­com­post] (de­com­pos­ing mat­ter from ma­nure used for plant fer­til­iza­tion) that will be pro­duced are ad­di­tional sources of in­come [from] the rais­ing of the carabaos alone,” he added. Co­rales said that this “Palaya­man plus Nues­tra” pro­ject is poised to be a na­tional pro­gram be­cause of its pos­si­ble im­pacts. Aside from the main ob­jec­tive of in­creas­ing farm­ers’ in­come, the pro­ject can also help boost agribusi­ness in a par­tic­u­lar com­mu­nity; in­crease pro­duc­tion in­puts, cre­ate a pos­i­tive im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment, and give farm­ers suf­fi­cient and nu­tri­tious food.

“[Cur­rently] we’re also col­lab­o­rat­ing with other agen­cies and pri­vate en­ti­ties such as the Philip­pine Cen­ter for Posthar­vest De­vel­op­ment and Mech­a­niza­tion (PhilMech), Na­tional Ir­ri­ga­tion Ad­min­is­tra­tion (NIA), Agri­cul­tural Train­ing In­sti­tute (ATI), [and the] Na­tional Dairy Au­thor­ity (NDA), among oth­ers…We be­lieve that th­ese col­lab­o­ra­tions are our key [to] at­tain­ing suc­cess to this pro­ject,” Co­rales said.

“Palaya­manan Plus Nues­tra” is a col­lab­o­ra­tive pro­ject of the Philip­pine Rice Re­search In­sti­tute and Philip­pine Carabao Cen­ter with other govern­ment agen­cies and pri­vate en­ti­ties to in­crease farm­ers’ in­comes and pro­duc­tion in­puts by in­te­grat­ing farm­ing sys­tems.

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