THE National Dairy Authority (NDA) said it has between P250 million and P350 million in funding to spend in an April auction for the import of 1,500 dairy cattle, to be distributed across various farms by October.
NDA Administrator Marilyn B. Mabale told reporters in Quezon City on Tuesday that the government-to-private cattle auction failed last year, and will be rebid this year.
“Unfortunately the 2018 auction failed, so we are going to rebid the purchase after consulting the farmers and complying the technical requirements of the board of directors… We hope the animals (can) be distributed in October… The funding of P250 million to P350 million includes semen purchases (for further breeding),” Ms. Mabale said on the sidelines of the NDA’s 24th Anniversary Celebration.
The Department of Agriculture (DA) hopes to achieve 10% milk sufficiency by 2022.
Ms. Mabale added that NDA will import 2,500 goats annually for three years starting 2020, tapping US government funding worth about P1.56 billion.
“It will be a special funding from the US government. It is a P1.56 billion project to run for five years starting this year, but there will be no imports yet. This year will be for organizing farmers, capacitating farmers, hiring technicians because we want to be ready when the animals arrive,” Ms. Mabale said.
Ms. Mabale said the dairy sector’s milk output rose 4% in 2018, and was up 11% in terms of value.
According to Ms. Mabale, the goat imports will be targeted at farmers with limited land. She added that the US government’s PL480 project is targeted at the poorest provinces, led by Samar province. The program will also assist farmers with marketing.
The NDA’s approved budget for 2019 is P251 million, down 52.6%.
Funding for cattle procurement this year come from the 2018 budget, Ms. Mabale said.
Asked it is possible for the Philippines to achieve a 10% milk sufficiency by 2022, Ms. Mabale replied in the affirmative.
“In a very rough estimate, very conservative estimate, nakita namin agad na 7% na ‘yung increase (we immediately saw a 7% increase) in the next two years, so ‘yung 10% very achievable iyon ‘pag dumami ‘yung base herd or increasing productivity ng existing animals (the 10% is very achievable if the base herd will increase or there will be increasing productivity of the existing animals),” Ms. Mabale said. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio