MAMBAJAO, Camiguin -- The dairy industry in the country sees a brighter prospect to increase production in the coming years owing to government interventions that would encourage farmers and entice other stakeholders to venture into dairy farming.
The more than 500 participants to the 20th Dairy Congress and Expo held here on May 3 to 5, with the theme: “Gatas Pinoy: Paunlarin, Tangkilikin, Palaganapin,” which was spearheaded by the Dairy Confederation of the Philippines, are determined to improve further their capability and capacity to increase production of quality milk.
Department of Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, who was guest speaker during the congress, underscored the reasons why the country failed to substantially increase the dairy herds and fully develop the dairy sector, which led to huge losses of income for the farmers, notwithstanding the Philippines’s continued dependence on imported milk products.
Piñol said that the reasons of the slow growth of the industry are due to corruption during past administrations, wasting and filtering dairy budget by importing old, substandard dairy stocks, and diverting them into the private farms of politicians; the lack of political and good will of past leaders to find a working strategy to develop the dairy industry, improve breeds of dairy animals, and map out the ideal sites for dairy production; and allowing multinationals to control and kill the local dairy industry.
“I urge the dairy industry to unite with the government and all its stakeholders, and with renewed resolve, address these identified challenges by charting a more comprehensive, transparent, and dynamic course to the genuine revival and dynamic growth of the country’s dairy industry,” Piñol said.
The NDA said that the Philippine Dairy Industry Situation shows that the country is heavily dependent on imported dairy products amounting to US$797 million annually and is the third top import after wheat and soya.
Of the 82 provinces of the country, 59 provinces are engaged in dairy production, 480 dairy players, 45,439 dairy animals, supplying about one percent of the country’s dairy requirement.
In 2010, NDA 15.86 million liters of local milk was produce, and production has since in an upward trend that in 2016, 21.16 million liters was produced fostering four percent growth in local milk production as compared to the 2015 production of 20.39 liters.
Meanwhile, the local government of Camiguin, a dairy producer, is confident that their dairy production of 100 liters a day is enough to meet the demand, in line with the National Feeding Program, to address malnutrition in the entire island.
Governor Ma. Luisa Romualdo said that the province will further develop its dairy industry hoping to eradicate malnutrition problem among school children in the province in the near future.
“With our milk production, we are able to sustainably provide our malnourished children the essential nutrients needed for their development, and it is our hope that malnutrition would be a thing of the past.” Romualdo said.