PANGASINAN, the fourth biggest province in the country in terms of land area, is being positioned to be the leader in the production of crossbred carabaos that can be harnessed for milk and meat under a program drawn up by the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC).
Gloria de la Cruz, chief the PCC based in Rosario, La Union, said given Pangasinan’s wide area, it is the most ideal province for raising crossbreed carabaos.
Speaking at the KBP forum last week, De la Cruz said that while there is an existing carabao industry in the province, it is mainly for meat and the carabao population is dwindling due to constant slaughtering.
In Mangaldan, famous for its carabao meat dish pindang, the PCC has been calling on authorities to spare female carabaos from slaughter as they produce milk that is more nutritious than cow’s milk.
“The carabao is still the Philippine’s beast of burden but we are improving the breed for it to become world class,” De la Cruz said.
Under the program for Pangasinan, she explained, the carabao will no longer be used for work in the fields and will just be maintained for the production of milk, which is cholesterol free, rich in calcium and higher in Vitamin A and other nutrients compared to cow’s milk.
The PCC has also developed the production of other products using the milk such as kesong puti, lacto juice and choco milk, which can be commercialized soon.
She said under the PPC program, they are seeking to increase the genetic quality of carabaos so that they can produce more milk.
The program calls for the crossbreeding of native carabaos with foreign breed so their offspring will become more superior and can give more milk as well as meat.
De la Cruz urged farmers to have at least one milking cow each because the income from milk production at P30,000 to P40,000 could easily be equivalent to the yield from tilling one hectare of rain-fed rice farm.