THE National Dairy Authority (NDA) is set to construct dairy facilities in the Western Visayas to expand the industry’s footprint in the region.

In a statement on Sunday, the NDA said it will establish a P40-million dairy center which will feature laboratories and test farms.

The site chosen is a three-hectare property in New Lucena, Iloilo province.

NDA Administrator Gabriel L. Lagamayo said the facilities will seek to disseminate “innovative dairy techniques and farm management practices.”

The NDA added that a feed center will be constructed within the property to ensure optimal nutrition for dairy cattle and increased output.

The government is aiming to increase dairy production to 80 million liters of milk per year by 2028.

In 2023, dairy production amounted to 17,850 metric tons (MT), or about 0.8% of milk consumption of 1.94 million MT, with the rest being imported. The dairy herd was 75,798 head in 2023.

Imports of milk and milk products are expected to increase this year amid the continued growth in demand, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Mr. Lagamayo urged dairy farmers in the area to adopt new technology to boost production.

Additionally, the NDA said that it will expand its national network to 12 regional offices, in aid of a “more focused approach on provinces.” — Adrian H. Halili