Dairy Industry Posts 12% Growth in 201212 February 2013
PHILIPPINES - The Department of Agriculture will continue providing support to sustain the increased production of fresh milk, which last year grew by 12 per cent.
The DA through the National Dairy Authority (NDA) will expand local dairy production through a massive herd build-up and breeding program, said Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala, whose message was read on his behalf by DA Assistant Secretary for livestock Davinio Catbagan, during the 16th National Dairy Congress and Exposition, February 7, 2012, in Bacolod City.
Secretary Alcala said the NDA in partnership with dairy farmers’ groups and National Dairy Confederation (DairyCon) will embark on a sustained dairy herd build-up through intensified upgrading and preservation of local stock, augmented by importation of dairy animals, embryos and equipment, and establishment of more multiplier and grow-out farms.
He said the dairy multiplier farms will undertake breeding, milk production and processing, including the rearing of male calves for fattening, and thus the establishment of sustainable dairy enterprises and animal trading industry.
Secretary Alcala urged the DairyCon to help the NDA prop up the country’s dairy industry and attain sufficiency in liquid milk requirement. This should be done through continuous and systematic dairy herd upgrading.
For her part, NDA administrator Grace Cenas said the country has a current inventory of 40,696 dairy animals, which produced 18.45 million (M) liters of milk last year, 12 per cent or two million liters more than in 2011.
She said production of local milk has been growing at an annual average of 7 per cent in the last five years. Despite efforts during the last two decades, local production is still less than one percent of the country’s total annual dairy requirement, as milk consumer demand has been increasing.
However, the future looks bright as the DA has increased the budget of the NDA to P262M this year, P90M more than in 2012. “With this budget, the NDA will accelerate local dairy development, further increase fresh milk production, provide dairy farmers more income and livelihood, and supply Filipino consumers with quality fresh milk,” she said.
On international cooperation, Cenas said the DA is in the process of finalizing an agreement on dairy development with the New Zealand (NZ) government. The Philippines regularly imports NZ dairy cows, and various milk products, which amounted to more than $290 million in 2011.
“We are finalizing the terms of the project where we can share our support and expertise to upgrade the Philippine's milk production,” said NZ Ambassador Reuben Levermore, during the Dairy Congress.
The three-day congress — spearheaded by the DA-NDA, DairyCon and Negros Federation of Dairy Cooperatives — served as a venue for the country’s dairy farmers and industry stakeholders to exchange ideas and forge partnerships.
It also showcased latest dairy technologies as resource persons discussed various topics that included genetic improvement, herd build-up, reducing calf mortality, increasing cow-calf profitability, heifer management, disease prevention and control, forage and pasture development, dairy feeds and mineral supplementation, milk quality standards and collection system, market development, feed rations for ruminants, economics of goat production, health benefits and curative effects of goat’s milk, and goat cheese production.
The annual dairy event was attended by 500 farmers and industry stakeholders and over 40 exhibitors from Negros province and other parts of the country. (Bethzaida Bustamante, DA Information Service).
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