DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 2 Aug) – The dairy industry is eyeing to increase the production of milk from 1 to 10 percent in five years.
Isidro Albano, chairman of the Mindanao Association of Diary Industry Stakeholders (MADIS), said Monday the country’s annual demand for milk is 1.8 billion liters but local farms can only produce about 18 million liters, making the Philippines a net importer of milk, to supply the demand gap of 99 percent.
His farm was tapped by the National Dairy Authority (NDA) as a dairy farm multiplier to address the issues on availability, affordability and quality of dairy animals in the country.
The NDA, he said, also wants to accelerate the production of high quality local dairy animals in partnership with local farmers.
Albano said the country imports milk from New Zealand and some countries in Europe like Netherlands and Sweden.
He said one of the programs that NDA will implement this month is the embryo transfer, a technology adopted from Argentina that implants the embryo from a pure breed girolando to surrogate cows in a bid to increase the population of milk-producing cattle in the country.
The country has a combined population of cows and goats that produce milk at about 27,000.
Albano said the NDA will tap the Bukidnon-based cattle farm Universal Harvest Inc. to form a collaboration with government in implementing the embryo transfer.
Through this technology, he said they can ensure that cows will give birth to female calves with 30 percent success rate, increasing the population of milk-producing cattle in the Philippines.
In Brazil and Argentina, he said cows of this breed can produce 25 to 30 liters a day, which is much higher as compared to the Philippines’s national average of 12 liters a day.
Albano said many farmers have so far expressed the interest to join the program.
He said they can participate in the program in two ways – either as caretaker of the new calves or enlist their cows as surrogates. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)ant