Israel commits to develop Philippine dairy program
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - January 19, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Experts from Israel are coming to the Philippines next week to help the Department of Agriculture (DA) implement its flagship dairy program.

Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said experts from Israel-based Afimilk Agricultural Cooperative Ltd. would join the dairy stakeholders consultation in Bohol on Jan. 26.

“The Israeli experts are expected to give their inputs into the establishment of the DA’s biggest and most ambitious dairy program which will be located in the 3,000-hectare Ubay Stock Farm in Bohol,“ Piñol said.

Afimilk is a global leader in developing, manufacturing and marketing cutting edge computerized systems for the modern dairy farm and herd management.

Piñol said the experts are the same people who helped establish Vietnam’s 29,000-head dairy farm, which is considered to be the largest dairy farm project in the said country.

“The Bohol dairy project will be the first consolidated dairy farm to be attempted by the government following the successful example of the TH milk project in Vietnam,“ he added.

The Ubay dairy farm is a proposed public-private partnership venture of the DA which seeks to establish a 5,000-head dairy farm with a capacity to produce 21-million liters of milk annually.

The stakeholders caucus is the second consultative process conducted by the DA to ensure that all issues and concerns are addressed.

DA also plans to partner with big milk companies like Nestle to look into the prospects of establishing a fresh milk-packaging plant in the Ubay Stock Farm.

The plan aims to ensure that the milk produced by the estimated 5,000 heads of Girolando dairy cattle will be transferred directly from the milking parlors to the fresh milk packaging plants.

The program aims to increase the country’s milk and dairy production from 1.8 percent of the national requirement to 10 percent by 2022.

In 2016, dairy production went up four percent to 21,160 metric tons, registering the highest increase under the livestock sector.

Despite this, the industry is still unable to supply the local requirement as the country imported 453,000 metric tons of dairy valued at $808 million in 2016.

Most of the imports were from New Zealand with 39 percent of the total and US (24 percent). Other sources were Australia and Germany.

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