The Department of Agriculture (DA) is funding the construction and operation of a genetic molecular laboratory here in Bohol, at the Ubay Stock Farm (USF) in Ubay town in an effort to strengthen the bid of the province in claiming the title as the nation’s “Dairy Capital”.
Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol revealed this as he explained the new direction in the country’s livestock dispersal program during this term, during his first official visit to Bohol January 26.
Speaking before a gathering of dairy industry stakeholder members of the Bohol Dairy Producers Association (BODPA), the Cebuano speaking secretary explained that the molecular laboratory is a long overdue support for the region’s livestock industry.
The molecular laboratory is a research and development facility which will be the center of a wide variety of scientific research in multiple disciplines in cattle and carabao breeding and genetics, biotechnology, nutrition and forage or pasture, animal health, reproductive physiology, management, product development as well as socio-economics and setting policy directions to the country’s livestock industry.
The DA, which is facilitating the entry into the country of some 5,000 heads of girolando cattle breeds here would largely be using artificial insemination (AI) and genetic engineering to make sure the succeeding calves bred would retain if not enhance the local dairy production as envisioned by the government as better breeds.
AI is basically a reproductive tool which harnesses the potential of outstanding males or sires.
Girolando, according to Pinol is a Brazilian accidental bred when a Holcein jumped off the coral and bred with a Gir, which produced a girolando offspring that increased the breed’s capacity to milk, several times.
Now the record keeper for the world’s most milk harvest at 105 liters in a day, the girolando which are now in quarantine prior to its shipping to Bohol would need the scientific laboratory to keep its milk production capacity at its peak, Pinol said.
The other goal is to make Bohol the country’s leading supplier of girolando breeds, Sec. Piñol revealed, even as he explained that cattle can only give milk if they give birth to calves.
Planned for reproduction using the trusted artificial insemination, the molecular laboratory can largely help in enhancing breeds and engineer them to best suit the tropical climate, taking specific characteristics from other milking breeds and increase production.
Moreover, the molecular laboratory operates as a research station where communal farming adopting communities can consult on issues of the animal health through diagnostic services and other support services.
And then revealing the current administration’s directions into animal dispersal, Piñol said he is now more keen on communal dispersal programs instead of the individual dispersal program.
During the individual dispersal regimes, a poor farmer who is given the chance to have a say to the dispersed farm animal would always sell the animal he can’t feed anymore if he can’t feed his family.
That is why, when it’s tuition fee times, more government dispersed animals are reported as they fell of ditches, died or were sick they have to be slaughtered, he poignantly illustrated those in the poverty bind.
As the DA intends to bring to Bohol 5,000 dairy cattle to support the country’s dairy supply and give it a boost, the calves would be put in dispersal programs for the cooperatives instead, where many people can have a say to an animal.
DA wants cooperatives to be dispersed with at least 240 calves which they would feed and fatten and when matured, would milk on their own ad earn.
The system too allows the province to graduate from importer of the Girolando to be a top exporter of the world’s top milking cow bred to farmers all over the whole country. (rahc/PIA-7/Bohol)