The Agricultural Rural Transformation-Integrated Community-Based Dairy Project (ART-ICDP) is a new enterprise anchored on the Dairy Development of Bohol. It is spearheaded by the Office of the Provincial Veterinarian (OPV).

A first of its kind, the ART-ICDP has been marketed to the feeding programs of the Department of Education (DepEd), both Provincial Division and City Division, as well as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and the Provincial Government of Bohol (PGBh). It aims to increase raw meat production in the Province of Bohol; make available locally-sourced fresh milk; and increase the income of farmers and cattle raisers.

At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Governor Arthur C. Yap with the OPV saw the opportunity of the ART-ICDP as a means to protect the province from diseases, especially the nutritionally-challenged children and the youth who are vulnerable to virus exposure due to the weakening of the immune system.

The Philippine Coconut Authority allocated a 10-million budget for the project through the Philippine Carabao Center in partnership with the Provincial Government of Bohol. The OPV has planned to develop a new cluster in the town of Tubigon, specifically through the La Libertad Farmers’ Cooperative.

“Ipa-join pod nato puhon ang mga nearby municipalities nga daghan og kabaw ug baka like San Isidro, Catigbi-an, Sagbayan, Danao, Clarin, Antiquera, and Balilihan,” stated Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz, Provincial Veterinarian, in an interview. 

She further stated that the process in which the carabao or cow is enrolled in the project are, as follows: (1) Identifying the barangays with the most cattle; (2) Veterinary Clinic in which the cattle are examined with a group of technicians and veterinarians whether it is fit for dairying; and (3) If the owner of the cattle is interested, he will be oriented with the ART-ICDP. 

“So, for now sa 1,300 [ka kabaw ug baka] nga naenrol [sa ART-ICDP] naa nay 500 ka buntis [nga kabaw ug baka],” added Dr. Lapiz. 

Dr. Lapiz also encourages the project participants and other farmers and cattle raisers to plant grasses that are essential for dairying to compete with the commercial feeds available in the market. 

“Hopefully, madugangan atong milk on the line by next year and possible nga ma doble ang atong production sad.” expressed Dr. Lapiz. 

With ART-ICDP, the future of milk and dairy enterprise can help in the food security of Bohol. (Chaitanya Jaya P. Dy-Balahay)