Coconut farmers in CamSur receive dairy buffaloes

By Kris Valeen B. Saberon

The Department of Agriculture-Philippine Coconut Authority (DA-PCA) and the Department of Agriculture-Philippine Carabao Center (DA-PCC), in partnership with the Provincial Government of Camarines Sur along with the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Pasacao and its conduit cooperative, the Pasacao Women’s Agriculture Cooperative, awarded the third batch of dairy buffaloes to the members of the Small Coconut Farmers’ Organizations (SCFOs) of Caranan, Macad, Odicon, Bahay, and Quitang, who are beneficiaries of the Coconut-Carabao Development Project (CCDP).

The awarding was led by Governor Luigi Villafuerte. As of writing, a total of 76 heads of dairy buffaloes have been delivered to the 45 beneficiaries of the CCDP. Each coconut farmer beneficiary will receive two (2) heads of dairy buffaloes.

The CCDP aims to provide support to coconut farmers through the establishment of carabao-based enterprises that will also benefit the community through sustainable livelihood and more business opportunities. The milk produced by the daily buffaloes will be used to ensure the availability of locally-produced milk in support of the Republic Act 11037 or the “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Program”, a national feeding program for the undernourished Filipino children in Public Day Care, Kindergarten, and Elementary Schools being implemented by the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development.

The 62-year-old, Caranan Small Coconut Farmers Organization-President, Mr. Bida Burce encouraged the members of their organization to value the support given by the Provincial Government to farmers like him. He said, “Dapat ining mga tinao samong pangkabuhayan, pangatamanan ta ni ta iniyo pang-habambuhay [asin] bako sanang pang-madalian.” Burce also invited the farmers in their community, who are non-members of their SCFO, to join them so that they, too, will be able to receive the benefits that he and his members received.

Through the production of the carabao milk, the coconut farmer beneficiaries’ income will increase through the by-products, such as pasteurized milk, pastillas, and kesong puti, that will be produced out of it by the Pasacao Women’s Agriculture Cooperative in the processing center to be established in their municipality.

Another beneficiary, 41-year-old Mr. Joel Agomaa, President of Odicon SCFO, who also drives a tricycle for a living, is among those who are greatly affected by the continuous price increase of gasoline.

“Dakulang tabang ini para samong mga paratanom nin niyog ta ngunyan mura an barakalan kan niyog, magkakaigwa po kaming alternatibong pagkukuanan nin pambuhay sa samong pamilya,” Agomaa said. “Salamat po sa DA-PCA asin sa DA-PCC para sa carabao na itinao nindo samo. Nagpapasalamat man po ako sa LGU-Pasacao, sa tinaong dakulang pandagdag sa samong hanapbuhay. Dakulang pasasalamat man po an samuyang ipinapaabot sa Provincial Government asin sa satuyang namomootan na Gobernador sa pagtao ning supporta sa arog ka ining mga programa na pagtabang samong mga paratanom asin mga para-niyog,” Agomaa gratefully added.