PCAF OIC Executive Director Liza Battad, PCC OIC Executive Ronnie Domingo, Central Luzon Regional Agricultural and Fishery Council (AFC) monitoring team in the main lobby of the Livestock Biotechnology Center of PCC.

Philippine Council for Agriculture (PCAF), as the fund manager of the PL-480 Program, together with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) monitored the Livestock Innovation and Biotechnology Complex of the Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and the Crop Biotechnology Center of the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in the Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija on August 5, 2021.

PCAF OIC Executive Director Liza Battad and USDA Agricultural Attache Ryan Bedford were joined by representatives of the Agricultural and Fishery Councils (AFCs) in Central Luzon, namely Regional AFC Chairperson Francisco Hernandez, Provincial AFC Chairperson Orlando Corpuz, and Municipal AFC Chairperson Servando dela Cruz.

The PCC used the PhP391-million fund in strengthening the livestock biotechnology center and enhancing the capability of its human resources to undertake biotech research and development (R&D) on carabaos.

AFC monitoring team with PCC staff inside the National Water Buffalo Gene Pool.

The USDA team inspected  the Livestock Biotech Center Farm, which has the capacity to hold 500 livestock and features a silage processing/storage facility. They were also briefed by the scientists, trained using the PL480 Program fund, with the technologies they created that focused on innovative ways of breeding and nutrition and herd management.

PhilRice, on the other hand, is a recipient of PhP277,253,000 for the strengthening of crop biotechnology by undertaking productive and cutting-edge R&D. Project components include 1) Infrastructure development and equipment procurement; 2) Technical capability strengthening; 3) Rice/crop  biotechnology R&D; and 4) Rice/crop biotechnology R&D network development.

The USDA team was presented with the Golden Rice as an example of the technologies being developed. The presentation included the unique feature of Golden Rice, being infused with beta-carotene, as well as commercialization initiatives. | JCL