THE Department of Agriculture (DA) said on Monday that it is seeking to improve dairy and livestock output via a collaboration with the Czech government.

“The Philippines is particularly interested in the Czech Republic’s success in the dairy industry and in water and irrigation management and livestock production,” the DA said.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco P. Tiu Laurel, Jr. said in a statement that the DA will seek Czech assistance in upgrading farming technology, particularly in dairy.

The government is hoping to grow dairy production to 80 million liters per year by 2028.

In 2023, dairy production amounted to 17,850 MT, or about 0.8% of milk demand of 1.94 million MT. The dairy herd was 75,798 head in 2023.

The National Dairy Authority is projecting production to reach 1.98 million metric tons in 2024.

Mr. Laurel added that the DA will also purchase bull sperm for artificial insemination to improve the quality of the herd.

“The Philippines imports almost all its dairy requirements and sources from overseas parent stock for cattle and other livestock,” the DA said.

He added that the DA is also looking to expand the market for agricultural goods from the Philippines within the European Union.

“We have some products ready for export, so market access is also very important to us, especially the European Union, which is one of the best markets in the world for our products,” Mr. Laurel said.

Czech Agriculture Minister Marek Vyborny has earlier signed a letter of intent with the DA to collaborate on agriculture and food production.

The agreement also covers water management, aquaculture, science, and research.

“(The Philippines’) aims and ambitions are very similar to what we have in the Czech Republic, where our agricultural sector is also undergoing dynamic changes towards modern technology, innovation, science and research, and the application of their outcomes,” Mr. Vyborny said. — Adrian H. Halili