“We are targeting to produce 500 dairy animals locally in the next two years. Yun na po yung idi-distribute natin sa farmers [for the dairy enterprise development project] para hindi na natin yun kailangang i-import,” said National Dairy Authority (NDA) Administrator Gabriel Lagamayo during the National Sectoral Committee on Poultry and Livestock’s (NSC on PL) special meeting on September 13, 2023.

The meeting’s agenda involves the review of the Philippine Dairy Industry Roadmap implementation, during which Dr. Lagamayo shared that increasing dairy herd numbers remains to be the NDA’s main priority to boost milk production towards the country’s self-sufficiency.

According to his presentation, the average daily milk production per dairy cattle improved by at least 4%, from 7.8 liters in 2020 to 8.1 liters in 2022. In the 1st semester of 2023, the average daily milk production reached 10.31 liters per head.

“We are also trying na ma-improve ang per capita milk consumption. In fact, it rose by 15%, from 16.87 liters in 2020 to 19.42 liters in 2022,” he furthered.

Dr. Lagamayo also encouraged the dairy farmers in the meeting to register in the National Coconut Farmers Registry System to qualify as beneficiaries of the dairy-related projects under the Coconut Farmers and Industry Development Plan.

In support of the NDA’s efforts and the overall development of the dairy industry, the NSC on PL recommended to the House of Representatives and the Senate of the Philippines the approval of the NDA’s proposed additional 2024 budget for the establishment of nucleus farms for dairy animals under the Stock Farm Development Program.

The Committee also recommended to the Department of Agriculture, through the NDA, to coordinate with the Provincial Government of Siquijor for the possible promotion and/or propagation of their local cattle breed, which is known to have low feed consumption and high milk production. | Joy Camille Luza