Philippines Improves Dairy Competitiveness

PHILIPPINES - The Philippines has partnered with the Babcock Institute for International Dairy Research and Development (IDRD) to upgrade farmers’ global competitiveness even as the country now produces Dutch-origin Gouda Cheese under a two-pronged livelihood creation and import substitution programme.
calendar icon 6 January 2012
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ManilaBulletin reports that the Filipino dairy farmers linked with the Dairy Confederation of the Philippines have started collaborating for a training program with the IDRD in the University of Wisconsin (UW)-Madison to be able to acquire any global best practices in dairying.

The programme, supported with financing by the US Department of Agriculture and US dairy cooperative Land O’Lakes, sent in the second semester of 2011 eight dairy industry leaders to the IDRD.

The dairy training partnership programme included dairy herd improvement, marketing and value-added products, UW Cooperative Extension System, UW Center for Dairy Profitability, dairy cattle nutrition and feeding, Forage Center Activities, Basic dairy cattle health, Milk quality testing, and cow comfort and Facility Design and Biological Systems Engineering.

Government agencies have been supporting local dairy development as the sector has tremendous growth potential considering the huge market with the country’s dairy imports reaching $500 to $700 million annually.

A Gouda Cheese development programme is now under the Philippine Council for Agriculture Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development’s (PCARRD) Technomart programme.

Here, dairy producers belonging to the Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperatives (NMFDC) based at El Salvador City, Misamis Oriental are aided on raising their revenue as they produce Gouda Cheese, butter, lactoflan, and other flavored milk products.

With agencies like the National Dairy Authority (NDA) assisting in quality control of the dairy products, the Gouda Cheese of NMFDC has been purchased by the Dutch flag carrier KLM and has gained acceptance from recognised hotels.

“Fresh milk and other products produced and processed by NDA-assisted dairy farmers meet dairy industry standards. Customers-such as premium coffee shops and first-class hotels-are assured of quality items. Gouda cheese (Queso de Oro) has passed the discriminating test of cheese lovers,” reported NDA.

The NMFDC’s Gouda Cheese, stored at four to eight degrees centigrade for at least six months, have gained a market for its flavor. As storing process raises production cost, PCARRD has extended a help to the NMFDC through a biogas digester facility that has become a cheap source of energy for the storage facility. The power facility uses manure of dairy animals as gas source.

The programme has also identified a dairy expert called “Magsasaka Siyentista” (MS) to aid other dairy producers in adopting best practices. The MS, Crescencio Barros, has been able to prove that temperate purebreds Holstein, Freisian, Jersey, Guernsey, and Brown Swiss can thrive in the country.

The MS programme is helping other dairy producers address shortage of forage, produce concentrate feeds, and carry out rotational grazing.

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