By Alex Romeo R. Fernandez, PIA 1, Pangasinan
DAGUPAN CITY, Jan 21 (PIA) — Seeking the rehabilitation of the carabao industry, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is urging farmers in the province to raise the numbers of these species to replace its dwindling population.
Gloria Dulay of the DA-Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) said that according to the latest inventory, there are now only few of the species remaining due to their being slaughtered for meat.
To save the population, the center is advocating the prohibition of slaughtering breeding carabao, she said, adding that a law to forbid burning of the animal’s staple hay (dayami) is also being sought.
Aside from meat, carabao can be raised also for milk and as a farm animal to till farmlands, she said during the KBP Forum at the Philippine Information Agency, on Thursday.
Milk from carabao contains “higher riboflavin (Vitamin B12), calcium, and Vitamin A than a cow’s milk of the same quantity,” she added.
The milk also yields such by-products as white cheese, lacto juice, and choco milk.
As a farm animal, the carabao is still more effective than mechanical plows in tilling land in mountainous areas.
Enumerating the financial advantages of raising the species, she said a single female carabao, from milk alone, can produce P30,000 to P40,000 per year, not including its young, which can be sold for P10,000 for a male or P15,000 for a female.
The center, she said, is working to develop genetically superior breeds of carabao that can yield better meat and more quantity and better quality of milk.
The center is extending its services, including crossbreeding, to various cooperatives in the towns of Asingan, San Manuel, Anda, San Nicolas, Lingayen and the city of Alaminos, she said.
The PCC, she said, is hoping for Pangasinan to become the carabao industry center of Northern Luzon.#