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Philippines Receives $3M to Improve Carabao Stock through Genetics

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Philippine Department of Agriculture this week announced it has received $3 million from Korea to improve carabao breeds through genetics.

The funding for three years was provided by the Korean government through the Korea International Cooperation Agency and is being provided to the department of agriculture through the Philippine Carabao Center.

According to PDA, PCC Director Libertado Cruz said in a report that the project's goals are to establish an institutionalized electronic data capture system that will accelerate the evaluation and analysis of genetic data and to create a web-based genetic information system.

In addition, PCC's capabilities in breeding, genomics, bioinformatics, biotechnology, and related fields will be improved through training in Korea.

The project will "intensify" PCC's artificial insemination services and use of embryo technologies to improve the breed of carabao, PDA added.

Carabao is a domesticated sub-species of water buffalo indigenous to Southeast Asia.

As a result of the project, facilities and services at the PCC National Bull Farm and Semen Laboratory will be upgraded. Also, PCC's cryobanking will be upgraded with modern storage equipment to conserve genetic material over longer time periods.

The project is expected to begin by the end of 2010, according to Liza Battad, PCC's chief of planning and special projects.

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