Thursday, May 11, 2017

DA to Boost PH Dairy Industry

The Philippines is not a major dairy producing country. 95% of the milk consumed in the country is imported. 

The Philippines imported 453,000 MT of dairy valued at $808 million in 2016. Thus, the inadequacy is glaring with regards to the demand of a growing population. This also affect the nutritional requirements of Filipinos especially children. Statistics point out that “stunting” among Filipino children is widespread and this will affect their physical health. This is also crucial in brain development.

To address the issue, the Department of Agriculture (DA) is creating a 10 year masterplan for the Philippine Dairy industry. This will lessen importation and at the same time mitigating the impact of insufficient nutrients in the daily fare of the Filipino.

“The local industry could hardly supply five percent of the milk and dairy requirements of the country, 95 percent of the milk and dairy products consumed by Filipinos is imported. Until today, no such industry blueprint has been designed, formulated and implemented,”  DA Secretary Many Pinol disclosed.

Aside from insufficient livestock for dairy production, the current system is even ridden with corruption according to the DA Secretary. This includes overpricing of dairy livestock and genetically inferior livestock imported into the country. These resulted in low production of milk.

“I am urging our farmers to organize and consolidate their efforts so that government could easily support them. We will also provide municipal multiplier farms and learning centers nationwide and financial assistance for feed mills,” said the DA Secertary.

One of the solutions is to have a national registry program that will track the genetic lineage of animals used in the dairy industry that includes, cows, carabaos and even goats.

A measly increase of only 4 percent was registered in dairy production for the year 2016 at 21,160 metric tons as compared to the statistics stated above as per Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) figures. In terms of value, dairy registered the highest increase under the livestock sector at 10 percent to P715 million.

Currently the Philippines sources its dairy requirements from Most of the imports were from New Zealand with 39 percent of the total and US (24 percent) and Australia and Germany.

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The Mail Man

Author & Editor - The Philippines' Web Magazine on Agriculture.

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