The Department of Agriculture (DA) on Tuesday said it would seek more budget from Congress to launch a revitalized dairy industry roadmap until 2022 to adequately meet the country's annual per capita milk consumption of 22 kilograms.
The DA issued the statement after Senator Cynthia Villar blamed its attached agencies, Philippine Carabao Center (PCC) and National Dairy Authority (NDA), for the lack of affordable milk in the country that contributed to the declining academic performance of Filipino children.
We acknowledge the observation of Senator Cynthia Villar on the real situation of the country's dairy industry, particularly the measly supply of locallyproduced milk, the DA said.
We appreciate her passion for our local dairy industry to produce the needed milk to feed our children, it added.
The department said it would improve dairy production by geometrically increasing the population of dairy cattle and upgraded carabaos that could produce at least 1215 liters per day.
The DA will also overhaul the programs and respective targets of the NDA and the PCC, as well as encourage the active participation of the private sector, local government units, and concerned agencies, particularly the Department of Education, and Department of Health through its National Nutrition Council to help improve the nutrition of school children.
In particular, the PCC and NDA will massively improve the genetics of dairy buffaloes and cattle to produce seven liters and 18 liters, respectively, it said.
We will expand our current herd of 7,573 head of purebred dairy buffaloes and 14,354 tropicalized dairy cattle, it added.
It would also optimize the limited dairy stocks of PCC, NDA, and the Bureau of Animal Industry and select the best males as semen donors for artificial insemination throughout the country, transforming about 100,000 native animals every year as potential dairy milk producers.
In 2019, the country's dairy sector produced 23.69 million liters of milk and has registered annual growth equivalent to 5.4 percent. This is not enough!, the DA said.
In all, we will harmonize and strengthen the plans and programs of the PCC and NDA, inputting innovative and new strategies to once and for all develop the Philippine dairy industry, it added.
The department aims to at least double local milk production in the next five years with the help of investments from the private sector and local government units.
The approval of RA (Republic Act) 11037 otherwise known as 'Masustansiyang Pagkain para sa Batang Pilipino Act,' which creates the demand and market for liquid milk, will serve as an impetus and guide for us to perform better, the DA said.
Source: Philippines News agency