AN EXECUTIVE of the Mindanao Association of Dairy Industry Stakeholders (Madis) said they are targeting to increase the production of dairy products in the country in the next five years.
“Right now, the challenge actually for the dairy industry is to produce 99 percent more to be self-sufficient on our dairy requirements. For the longest time, Filipino local producers produces only one percent of the total demand,” said Madis Chairman Isidro Albano during the Kapehan sa Dabaw weekly press conference at SM City Davao last Monday, July 31.
About 64 percent of the country’s dairy production comes from cattle, 33 percent from carabao, and the remaining three percent from goats, said Albano, who is also the Chairman of the National Dairy Confederation of the Philippines.
He added most of our milk supplies are imported from other countries including New Zealand, Netherlands, and Sweden.
Albano said the dairy industry had already presented a five-year plan to Agriculture secretary Emmanuel Piñol on how the 10 percent dairy self-sufficiently goal will be reached. This plan includes the embryo transfer project, which piloted in Mindanao and will then be carried in other parts of the country, and animal infusion.
The embryo transfer uses a sexed embryo to produce a calf draft. The technology will make sure that the produce calf is female.
Currently, Albano added, Department of Agriculture is also considering on importing new cattle breeds which are called Geerlando that are coming from Brazil.
“But still quarantine protocols has to be discussed with other stakeholders or with other industry that might be in consideration of this step,” he said adding good nutrition and healthcare for the animals will also be pushed as well to encourage more backyard farmers to produce more.
The Obu-Manuvu tribe in Marilog District, together with Marco Suarez, their Business Development Consultant of the Obu Manuvu Unified Ancestral Domain Tribunal Council of Elders/Leaders, Inc. is planting Napier grass in their more than 36,000 hectare land property.
Suarez said Napier grass is a hybrid of the Pak Chong 2 grass from Thailand and is perfect for cattle consumption. Six months after planting, Napier grass will be ready to be fed to the cattle already.
This goal of reaching 10 percent of self-sufficiency for dairy requirement is also part of the plan of producing liquid milk that will be allotted for malnourished schoolchildren in the country.