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PIA Press Release

Korea grants $3M for carabao breeding

Manila (19 November) -- The Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) will provide a $3-million grant to the Department of Agriculture through the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) to implement a three-year project aimed at further increasing the production and propagation of superior breed of carabaos.

In a report to Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala, PCC director Libertado Cruz said the project ? called "Enhancing livestock sector performance in the Philippines" ? aims to establish an institutionalized electronic data capture system that will hasten genetic data evaluation and analysis, and create a unified web-based genetic information system.

The project will also intensify PCC's artificial insemination (AI) services and use of embryo technologies to produce more superior breed of carabaos. This entails upgrading the facilities and services of the PCC National Bull Farm and Semen Laboratory in Carranglan, Nueva Ecija.

The project's records of discussions (ROD) were signed November 5 by DA Undersecretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat and KOICA resident representative and team leader Jinoh Kim.

Senator Francis Pangilinan, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture and food, and Dr. Cruz witnessed the ceremony.

Under the project, Dr. Cruz said the PCC's'cryobanking' will be likewise improved with the provision of modern storage equipment to conserve genetic materials of selected livestock species over a longer period.

The project will also enhance the competencies of PCC along the disciplines of breeding, genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnology and related fields by training scientists in advanced technologies in Korea.

Dr. Liza Battad, PCC chief for planning and special projects, said that the signed ROD will be submitted to the KOICA headquarters in Seoul then returned to the Philippines for the final discussion on the details of the implementation plan with the KOICA technical team and the PCC.

She said the project will be formally launched after the signing of the'note verbale' between the embassies of Korea and the Philippines, before year-end.

"By improving efficiencies and establishing a systematic performance evaluation, genetic gains best redounds to farmers through more animals, increased milk production, and thus more income," Battad noted. (PIA-MMIO) [top]

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