PUERTO PRINCESA CITY—Yamang Bukid Farm, one of Palawan’s most visited tourism destinations, is embarking on dairy production to help improve the nutrition of school children, especially those in public schools.
This after the farm tourism destination in the city’s Barangay Bacungan availed of a soft loan from the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) to raise imported and high quality breed of carabao that can be a good source of milk and other dairy products.
Some 11 Murrah buffaloes were initially given by the Nueva Ecija-based state animal propagation hub in a “public-private partnership scheme” to the Puerto Princesa City farm destination, according to Dr. Arnel del Barrio, PCC executive director.
“This is part of our carabao enterprise development wherein we help cooperatives, individual farmers (and) families by lending them the carabaos like a soft loan.
Beneficiaries like Yamang Bukid Farm repay it with another carabao which will be given to (another beneficiary),” Del Barrio said.
Ten female buffaloes (also technically known as cows) and a bull were received by Yamang Bukid Farm and were promptly shipped from Nueva Ecija midweek.
While at sea, one of the four pregnant buffaloes gave birth to a healthy female calf affectionately called “baby YB.”
HezirRabaya, one of the farm’s managers who fetched the herd said a concrete barn was built on a hill overlooking the sprawling farm to house the animals.
“We have enough facilities and personnel for this project,” said Rabaya.
The farming destination, Rabaya said, has several employees who underwent training on quality milk production at PCC recently. These Yamang Bukid employees are the ones who will help him in taking care pf the imported water buffaloes and in doing the milk production.
Del Barrio said PCC typically disperses 200 carabaos yearly on average and that Yamang Bukid Farm is among the “numerous applicants” to the program.
“Yours is exceptional. Your story of doing business to help others is inspiring. I also came to know that you are accredited (as a training center) by (Agricultural Training Institute). In short, you have everything PCC can hope for in a partner (in this project),” the PCC head said.
He said both PCC and Yamang Bukid Farm are on the same advocacy of helping provide livelihood to farmers and their families.
“The bottomline is to help alleviate poverty and give good nutrition to the schoolchildren,” the official said.
Del Barrio said Yamang Bukid can also include dairy and milk production a component to its ATI-accredited trainings and further boost its capabilities as a learning site.
The sprawling farm tourism draw, which attracts at least 5, 000 visitors weekly, is known for its well-manicured gardens of ornamental plants, succulents, among others and is into sustainable farming of vegetables and other crops.
It employs nearly 300 farmworkers, over 90 percent of whom are former illegal loggers and charcoal-makers who have since become protectors of the environment.