P47-M dairy project starts in South Cotabato

GENERAL SANTOS CITY (MindaNews / 27 August) – The provincial government of South Cotabato has started the initial phase of a P47-million dairy production, processing and marketing project in Polomolok town under the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP).

Marites Tanseco, project development officer of the Provincial Planning and Development Office, said Thursday the preparations are underway for the development of dairy production facilities in Barangay Maligo, Polomolok town.

She said it involves the construction of pre-lactating facilities, specifically a barn and cow shed, milking parlor, calves pen and quarantine facilities.

These were part of the project’s first phase as proposed by its lead implementer Unified Engineering Workers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (UEWMPC) of Polomolok, she said.

Tanseco said some of the necessary equipment for the project rollout has already been procured.

UEWMPC, through the provincial government, proposed last year for the funding of the dairy project under the PRDP, a flagship initiative of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and supported by the World Bank.

The project received a “no objection letter” last Feb. 5 from DA and World Bank for its full implementation.

Tanseco said PRDP, as part of its convergence scheme, partnered with the National Dairy Authority (NDA) for the distribution early this year of at least 120 heads of Holstein Friesian-Jersey cows from Australia.

She said the cows, which were distributed to four partner dairy cooperatives of UEWMPC, served as NDA’s counterpart in the project.

Each of the five-month-pregnant cows currently produces an average of 10 to 12 liters of milk per day, she said.

Tanseco said the dairy project is so far the biggest that has been approved for the province under the PRDP.

“This is a pilot dairy project in the country and the first in Mindanao in terms of the partnership with the NDA,” she said in a statement.

The official assured that the local government will continue to provide the necessary support to ensure that the project will be sustained.

She said they are optimistic with the project’s prospects, especially in bringing sustainable income to the beneficiaries.

“It will address the increasing need for supplies of the dairy milk in the province as well as the neighboring areas,” she said. (MindaNews)