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Cabinet tells DA to focus on dairy production

- Marianne V. Go () - March 18, 2008 - 12:00am

The Arroyo Cabinet has instructed the Department of Agriculture to include milk and dairy products in its thrust for self-sufficiency.

According to Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap, the Cabinet is urging the DA to be more aggressive in increasing the country’s sufficiency level in milk production in the face of rising price of milk solids.

Officials of the National Dairy Authority (NDA) said the price of skimmed milk is now $5,000 per metric ton. According to NDA officials, the Philippines consumes about 50 to 60 million liters of liquid milk per annum, of which only 12 million liters (as of 2007) are domestically produced.

NDA data show that the country imports annually about $500 million worth of various dairy products – liquid milk, milk solids, processed dairy products and cheeses. In liquefied form, the NDA sources, said, the Philippines imports 1.2 billion liters of milk.

NDA records show that the country has only about 30,000 heads of dairy cow, of which only 15,000 produce milk. The plan is to increase the stock by 2,000 heads annually over the next five years. The long-term goal is to bring up the dairy producing livestock to 10 million.

Increasing the country’s dairy livestock by 2,000 heads annually for a five year period would improve the Philippines’ milk sufficiency by one-third, NDA estimates show.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY ARTHUR C ARROYO CABINET COUNTRY DAIRY DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE MILK NDA OFFICIALS OF THE NATIONAL DAIRY AUTHORITY
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