DA opens P336-M R&D center in Nueva Ecija
DA opens P336-M R&D center in Nueva Ecija
(The Philippine Star) - March 29, 2015 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture (DA) has opened a P336 million research and development center for livestock inside the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija to strengthen the government’s extension service to animal raisers.

The Livestock Innovations and Biotechnology (LIB) complex is comprised of  a main building that houses training facilities for farmers and laboratories for animal genetic research as well as a cryo bank.

The facility would provide services on animal breeding, milk analysis, animal health monitoring and animal product development.

“This will transform DA-PCC as a center of livestock biotechnology research and development for meat and dairy in the Philippines, not only for carabao but also for cattle, goat and sheep,” said Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala.

The opening of the facility is seen to help the country’s still developing dairy industry gain a stable footing in market and product development.

The establishment of the LIB complex started during the term of former PCC director Libertado Cruz, who retired land year, and was funded using loan proceeds from Public Law 480 of the United States, also known as the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act, in which the Philippines is a beneficiary.

Alcala said that with the  new facility, the DA would be able to continue its research into the genetic improvement of carabao and other farm animals as it refines its training and extension policies in quality control, multiplier farm accreditation and proper animal health and nutrition.

“We have to put in place a sustainable program that will work even beyond the term of President Aquino and my leadership at DA,” he said.

 Prior to the inauguration of the facility, the DA turned over certificates of production assistance to various dairy cooperatives in Nueva Ecija and other parts of Central Luzon.

The Agustin Multiplier Farm in Camiling, Tarlac also received 25 dairy buffaloes for its breeding program.

 The DA is pushing for increased production and consumption of carabao milk, even planning to include it in the National Dairy Authority’s (NDA) milk feeding program.

The PCC said the share of carabao milk production in the total domestic milk output has increased from only 16 percent 12 years ago to 47 percent as of last year. This share could be expanded to 50 percent in about three years, said the institution.

Domestic milk production rose to 20.010 million liters in 2014 from 19.53 million liters in 2013. The NDA targets to ramp up milk production to self sufficiency level by 2021.

For now, however, local milk production provides for roughly one percent of the country’s total dairy product requirement. The balance of the demand is covered by imports coming from New Zealand, Australia and France.

AGRICULTURAL TRADE DEVELOPMENT AND ASSISTANCE ACT AGRICULTURE SECRETARY PROCESO ALCALA AGUSTIN MULTIPLIER FARM AUSTRALIA AND FRANCE CENTRAL LUZON DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE LIBERTADO CRUZ LIVESTOCK INNOVATIONS AND BIOTECHNOLOGY MILK NUEVA ECIJA
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