The Philippines teamed up with Qatar-based Baladna Qatar Public Shareholding Co. to establish a $500-million integrated dairy facility, the Department of Agriculture said Monday.
“The DA, through the National Dairy Authority, fully supports and welcomes this new initiative as this will help jumpstart catalytic investments in the Philippine dairy industry to contribute to food security, local milk production and processing leading to agri-industrial development,” said Agriculture Secretary William Dar, who was in the UAE for Expo 2020 Dubai.
The project will increase local milk production by 120 million liters from the current production of 26.71 million liters. This will bring Philippines’ total milk production to 146.71 million liters, although it would still be a long way from supplying the local demand of 2,927.04 million liters.
“The investments will be able to generate 2,000 new jobs during the initial phase of its first full year of operations, providing significant opportunities for domestic employment,” said Dar.
The DA identified five possible locations for the Baladna project as it awaits the arrival of the Baladna representatives in the next few weeks for a site visit.
“DA will continuously provide the needed support to fast track the implementation of this project in coordination with DTI and other partner agencies,” Dar said.
Baladna QPSC expressed its interest in setting up a large-scale and fully-integrated dairy facility in the country designed to be climate-independent using world-class management systems.
Baladna is into raising livestock and production of dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, labneh, cream, dessert, juices and animal fertilizers.
The company is Qatar’s largest locally-owned food and dairy producer, supplying over 95 percent of the country’s fresh dairy products. The firm owns more than 24,000 Holstein cows on its 2.6 million square-meter facility with 40 state-of-the-art barns.
It has the capacity to produce 450 metric tons of fresh milk and juice products on a daily basis, and employs more than 1,650 workers.
Baladna said its main consideration for supporting the Philippine government is to level the playing field and foster domestic dairy production.
The Board of Investment agreed to assist the Qatar firm on availment of incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises law.
The Department of Trade and Industry and the DA agreed to work together in looking at measures that will level the playing field such as implementing proper labelling of fresh milk.