ADDED LIVELIHOOD. The carabaos received by the Aksyon Binuligay Sagay Coconut Farmers Alliance based in Barangay Colonia Divina, Sagay City, Negros Occidental. The farmers' group on Aug. 18, 2021 received the crossbreed animals as livelihood assistance from the Philippine Coconut Authority and the Philippine Carabao Center of the Department of Agriculture. (Photo courtesy of Philippine Coconut Authority-Negros Occidental)

BACOLOD CITY – A farmers' group in Sagay City, Negros Occidental has received 20 heads of crossbreed carabaos as livelihood assistance from the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) and the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) of the Department of Agriculture.

The recipients are from the 235-member Aksyon Binuligay Sagay Coconut Farmers Alliance (Akay Sacfara) based in Barangay Colonia Divina being assisted under the Coconut-Carabao Development Project (CCDP) of the two agencies.

Felipe Peacita Jr., president of Akay Sacfara, told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) on Thursday they availed of the milking carabaos for free as an organization engaged in coconut farming.

“The PCA identified us to become recipients. We have been actively participating in the implementation of its programs,” he said.

The carabaos, which were delivered on Aug. 18, are housed in a site set up by the farmers.

“This is an added livelihood and will help boost the income of our members,” Peacita said.

The farmers are expected to have more income opportunities through the production of carabao milk products such as pastillas de leche and cottage cheese or kesong puti as well as other by-products.

The CCDP focuses on the theme “Developing the Dairy Buffalo Value-Chain Under Coconut Farming System”.

The program seeks to provide additional income to coconut farmers by providing sustainable livelihoods and business opportunities through carabao-based enterprises, and ensure the availability of locally-produced milk in support of Republic Act 11037 or the “Masustansyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Program” being implemented by the Department of Education and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. (PNA)