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Wednesday, July 24, 2024

DA chief vows support for local dairy industry

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National Dairy Authority (NDA) officials recently met with Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. to discuss strategies and proposals to increase milk production in the country.

The NDA provided the DA chief with an overview of the country’s current dairy situation, including a status report on project implementation, number of animals distributed in 2023, and growth figures, among other information.

NDA Administrator Gabriel L. Lagamayo said NDA aims to boost the country’s milk output to 80 million liters by 2028, a small portion of the projected demand of 2.143 million metric tons by that time.

Increasing milk output 2.5 times over the next five years, he said, requires a dramatic increase in the number of animals in the milking line, enhancing dairy productivity, expanding distribution networks, constructing additional dairy-related infrastructures, and promoting the consumption of local milk and dairy products.

Tiu Laurel welcomed NDA’s suggestions and expressed full support for the dairy agency’s plans.

He cited the positive impact of developments in the dairy industry, describing it as “a low-hanging fruit” in the government’s goal of boosting agriculture’s contribution to the broader economy and in improving the lives of millions who depend on the sector.

“If we increase the number of cattle in the milking-line, then we can increase production. Immediate effects will be felt. Developments in this sector will not only benefit our farmers but also help address malnutrition in the provinces,” the agriculture chief said.

Lagamayo stressed the crucial role of the DA Secretary’s support in advancing the industry.

“We appreciate Secretary Tiu Laurel’s suggestions and sound insights. Given his extensive experience in industry development, we believe he can successfully apply similar concepts to enhance our local dairy sector,” he added.

Pending the release of the national data for milk production from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), NDA records show that cattle production in 2023 reached 17,850 metric tons, accounting for approximately 0.8 percent of total milk consumption of 1.937 million metric tons.

This consumption figure represents an increase of 1,372 metric tons compared to the previous year (2022). The NDA projects a further rise in demand for milk consumption to reach 1.978 million metric tons this year.

“Based on these figures, we should advocate for greater investment in dairy cows which are the primary milk producers”, said Lagamayo.

On the other hand, the herd experienced a 45 percent growth to 75,798 in 2023 from 52,188 in 2018.

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