Catarman, Northern Samar – The Provincial Government of Northern Samar, through the Provincial Veterinary Office (PVO), aided by the Philippine Carabao Center at Visayas State University (PCC at VSU), discussed with artificial insemination technicians in the province their future plans to further improve the efficiency of the AI program during an action planning workshop held yesterday, February 23, 2022, at the Ibabao Hall of the Provincial Capitol, this town.

Dr. Reynaldo A. Ogalesco, Veterinarian III at the PVO, hopes that artificial insemination will increase carabao production, especially now that the prices of fish and pork are increasing.

“Our purpose for artificial insemination is not only for the meat the carabao will provide, but also for the milk as another protein source,” Dr. Ogalesco said adding that the milk can also be used in the child nutrition program of the provincial government.

According to PCC at VSU, Northern Samar has the greatest number of carabao heads in Eastern Visayas, but according to Dr. Ogalesco, most of these are the smaller, swamp-type water buffalo.

As AI is a reproductive tool utilized to cross the swamp-type carabaos with purebred dairy buffaloes, their office is hoping that the province will have bigger and healthier carabaos, as compared to those produced from inbreeding.

According to Mr. Edgar Nuñez, Artificial Insemination and Bull-Loan Program Coordinator of the PCC at VSU, their office has already trained 25 AI technicians from the LGUs and an additional 25 village-based AI technicians. The PCC has also distributed 75 bulls to 14 Northern Samar towns.

Since 2011, these technicians, has conducted 2,094 AI services, with a high of 684 in 2012, which kept on dwindling in the succeeding years that culminated with 0 services done in 2021. Total calf drop is also only 63 for the past 10 years.

In order to address this decline, among the options being considered is for the provincial government to provide incentive to AI technicians while the PCC gives them AI equipment. maa/pio