|Photo courtesy of: Wilfredo Abrea|
This prompted the government through the Department of Agriculture to look for ways to improve genetically our Philippine native breed of carabao through the artificial insemination (AI) program.
Artificial insemination (AI) is the process of collecting sperm cells from a male animal and manually depositing them into the reproductive tract of a female.
Dr. Roche Rey Barrios, DA Caraga Livestock Coordinator said that male sperm used for carabao cross breeding program is from either Murrah Buffalo or Bulgarian Buffalo while for cattle is from Brahman; an imported breeds.
Jose Tingson of Brgy. Bahi, Barobo, Surigao del Sur said that there’s a big difference between native carabao than an improved breed.
Based on his experience, his carabao; an offspring from AI can withstand longer period of time in the farm works than his native contemporaries.
“In the half days work, native carabao needs to be wallowed (tuna) at least four times but with his buffalo he just need to bring her in a wallow 2 times, thereby saving time.
His carabao had also undergone an AI successfully which during the time of dire need to sustain the studies of his son, he sold the 2.7 years old offspring selling P40,000.00 more than enough to meet their needs.
Meanwhile Epefanio Busbus of Brgy. Campbagang, Barobo noticed that his carabao; a result also from AI has sturdy body built and larger than its native mother, making it more reliable partner in his farm.
“AI helps me a lot because I have now a buffalo which has a strong body and performs well in the farm and other job as draft animal,” he said.
Artificial insemination program is being implemented to improve the livestock industry in the country through the Department of Agriculture in collaboration with the Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI), Philippine Council for Agriculture and Fisheries (PCAF), National Artificial Breeding Center, Philippine Carabao Center; academe and local government units.
Filipinos regards carabao as faithful partners in life. Aside from helping our farmers plow the fields; this animal is still used for transportation, source of milk and even meat. (Aurelius P. Arais/DA Caraga)