THE Department of Agriculture (DA) is planning to establish a high-tech dairy farm in Moises Padilla town, the first in Western Visayas, seen to greatly contribute to improving the country’s milk sufficiency level.
DA-Western Visayas Director Remelyn Recoter, at the sidelines of the 1st Philippine Sugarcane Industry Mechanization Expo at the SRA Compound in Bacolod City Monday, March 12, told SunStar Bacolod that the area for the dairy farm project is still up for validation.
Recoter said Negros Occidental will be the third pilot area in the country for this high-tech dairy farm project. The first two are in Ubay town, Bohol and another locality in Luzon.
“Once established, hopefully this year, the farm will house at least 600 heads of cattle,” she said, adding that “one of the objectives is to utilize sugarcane tops as feeds for cattle other than pasture or forage grasses.”
The regional director cannot yet provide the amount of the project. Though, the package comes with a high-tech farm which Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol has acquired from Brazil during their trip.
“Secretary Piñol would like to bring the technology in the Philippines mainly to increase the sufficiency level of milk in the country,” Recoter said.
She said almost 90 percent of the country’s total milk consumption requirement is still being imported.
“By the end of President Rodrigo Duterte's term, the target is to increase our milk production by at least 10 percent,” Recoter said, adding that the dairy farm in Moises Padilla could positively contribute to achieving this target.
The DA considered the southern Negros Occidental town as area for the project for it has many idle lands that can be utilized for pasture and forage grasses production needed as supplemental feeds for animal stocks.
Once successful, Negros Occidental could be the milk production center of Western Visayas, Recoter said. (EPN)