Bohol Farmers Benefit from Dairy Module (Part 2)
MONEY FROM MILK
In Brgy. Tubog, Saturnino “Satur” Dilao, 60, also made money from the milk of the pregnant Bulgarian Murrah buffalo, which he loaned in 1998. He said that his income from buffalo milk also helped him a lot in the college education of his children.
He recalled that it was very tiresome for him in the first year, as he and the other recipients had to bring cut grasses and other forage feeds for the buffalo to a common feedlot twice a day. All the buffalos then were in a common feedlot where they were being tamed. The feedlot was about a kilometer away from most of the houses in Tubog.
Satur’s first calf was born two months after the arrival of the dam. He gave the calf, a female, to the PCC after 18 months as his first payment. In a year, he collected 893 liters of milk worth P 15,383.
Except for one month when the milk yield dropped to 45 liters, monthly collection ranged from 60 to 93 liters. For 10 months, Satur’s monthly income was more than P1,000 a month.
The second calf was also a female, which Satur also gave to the PCC as his second payment because the dam was already pregnant when he got it. However, he got the heifer back as a new loan for he also wanted to raise it as a dam. At the time of our visit, the new heifer was already two months pregnant after technicians of the PCC successfully performed an artificial insemination on it.
The milk yield in the second lactation period was far greater than in the first. Satur collected 1,179.5 liters of milk. This gave him P23,590, higher than the income from 1,090 liters (R23,071) during the third lactation period which lasted for 15 months.
Five months after its birth, Satur sold the third calf, a male, for P9,000 since he needed money for the tuition of his children.
With great optimism, he hopes to earn more since the heifer will also produce milk. What’s more, he plans to have five dams so that his income would be higher.
DESPITE FEEDING DIFFICULTIES
Like Satur, Jaime Montecalvo, 60, who is also from Brgy. Tubog, encountered much difficulty in bringing Napier grasses to the common feedlot. For almost a year while the buffalos were being tamed, Jaime brought three sacks of Napier grass for his buffalo in the morning and another three in the afternoon.
Jaime was so anxious to raise a Murrah buffalo and, hence, he had already planted Napier grass long before the buffalo arrived- . Already a meter tall when the buffalo arrived in July 1998, the Napier grass was ready for animal consumption. It was found out later, however, that the buffalo was not pregnant and the PCC at USF had to change it since the module specified for pregnant buffalos.
Although it was truly difficult at the start, Jaime said his hardships have been greatly rewarded. The first calf was a male, and was given to the PCC at USF as his initial payment. M ilk collection lasted for 10 months but Jaime only got 533.5 liters worth P9,603.
The income was very small, but Jaime explained that this could be primarily due to his milking skill for he was still learning then how to milk efficiently. Besides, the buffalo was not yet very tame.
His income from the second lactation, which also lasted for 10 months, was higher. For two months, the milk yield increased to 105 and 108.5 liters a month. He collected a total of 741.5 liters of milk, which gave him a total net income of P14,555. Thus, he did not feel bad about the male calf being given away as his second payment to the PCC.
The third calf was another male, which, eight months later, served as Jaime’s “last resort”. He was forced to sell the calf for P9,000, because he month for the motorcycle. badly needed money for the education of his three children in high school. In 11 months, he collected 741.5 liters of milk, which earned for him a total of P17,963.
Another male calf was born 18 months after the birth of the third calf. Jaime said he will raise the calf and then sell it so that his income will be bigger. In 10 months he collected 846 liters of milk and earned almost as much as in the third lactation period – a total of P17,963.50.
With a wide-smile, Jaime said he is ever thankful to the PCC for having made him a recipient of the dairy buffalo module. When we visited him, he had already earned a total of P68,983.50, an amount he would not have earned without the buffalo. In terms of income from buffalo milk, Satur is next to Dongdong who tops them all.
However, Satur longs so much to have female calves because “the buffalo milk has helped a lot in the education of our children.” The eldest of his eight children is pursuing a degree in business administration, while his 14-year old daughter, Estrella, is a senior student in a nearby barangay high school.
Estrella, who wants to be a teacher some day, now rides a motorcycle when she goes to school. “It came from buffalo milk,” Jaime said. He pays P250 a month for the motorcycle.
Thus, he wants to have at least three dams because “it’s not really difficult to take care of,” he said. Meanwhile, he has to wait for the female calves to come. But it may not be so far anymore as the dam was pregnant again at the time of our visit.
CO-OP MILK DELIVERY MAN
Virgilio Silmaro, 51, who is also from Brgy. Tubog, is the cooperative’s milk delivery man. Like other recipients, he has also earned a considerable income from the buffalo.
Virgilio was also among the first recipients of the module in 1998. With a tone of pride for his accomplishment, he said he endured everything so that he would eventually own the Bulgarian Murrah buffalo even if his house was more than a kilometer away from the common feedlot. He carried the feedstuff for his buffalo from a distance of about 700 meters.
However, that was only for a few months. By the time the buffalo gave birth to a female calf, the animal was already in a shed near Virgilio’s house. For one year, Virgilio’s total milk collection was 921.5 liters with a monthly yield ranging from 56 to 93 liters. In fact, he got a monthly yield of 90 to 93 liters in four months. Once in a while. his children drink some of the milk. At P18 per liter, he earned more than P16,587.
He emphasized that it took him only a month to become an efficient milk collector who would be through milking the buffalo in 15 minutes.
Virgilio got a. male calf in the second calving. Like the first calf, he also gave the second calf to PCC as his payment. In the third and fourth calvings, however, the buffalo gave him two female calves, which he intends to raise for milk production.
He collected 912 liters of milk during the second lactation period, giving him P18,240. His total milk collection during the third lactation period, however, abruptly dropped to 762 liters. Nevertheless, his total income of P16,002 during this period was not so far behind his income during the first lactation period. Seedless mandarins are four times the price of seeded ones.
Virgilio earned a total of P50,829, which only a miracle would have allowed him to earn that much or more from other endeavors.
Without being asked, he mentioned that he can well take care of five dams; he would sell all the male offspring upon reaching maturity.
His wife, Domie, processes the milk into pastillas, which she brings to the PCC at USF’s retail store along the highway.
As the milk delivery man of the co-op, Virgilio was using a bicycle to bring the milk to the PCC. Although it was truly difficult for him because of the big volume of milk produced by the module recipients, he persisted and thought that he is being fairly compensated (P3 a liter) for his efforts.
Eventually, he was able to buy a motorcycle, for which he paid a monthly installment of P1,872. It was quite easy for him to pay his monthly amortization since he was earning at least P2,700 a month for bringing the milk to the PCC.