By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) will fund a P2-billion dairy goat farming project in the Philippines, which will be implemented by National Dairy Authority (NDA), an attached agency to the Department of Agriculture (DA).
A statement showed that NDA will launch next week the Dairy Goat Farming project, which will be implemented under the US Public Law 480 (USPL480) program, also known as the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act.
The PL 480 program was enacted in 1934 by the American government so it could put to good use the revenues it gained from its own agriculture sector to help developing countries like the Philippines address their food security.
Since it was launched, the Philippines has received hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of grant from the US under PL 480, which included loan agreements meant to fund agricultural projects. But due to lack of programs, some funds that were injected to US PL 480 a few years ago only got stuck at the National Treasury over the years.
That was until Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol found out about the program last year and had sought to tap it.
With a budget of P1.56 billion, the national dairy project will focus on providing farmers access to dairy goats, infrastructure, technology, and other inputs to increase goat milk production volumes in the country.
NDA’s Philippine Dairy Industry Statistics in 2017 showed that goats contribute least in the local dairy production with a herd inventory of only 13,975 heads.
“The NDA intends to address the concern through increased support to the local dairy goat industry by way of distributing dairy goats to some 750 farmers and offspring of the original animals procured to some 1,150 second line beneficiaries,” NDA said.
As part of the project, the agency targets to distribute 7,875 heads of dairy goats to identified beneficiaries in new and existing dairy areas nationwide; establish 75 dairy goat farms with shared facilities and equipment that will serve as source of local dairy goats; and construct ten mini milk processing plants where the goat farms are situated provided that no milk processing plants are existing.
NDA also wants to establish six semen collection and processing centers in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao; train 750 farmer recipients of dairy goats and 75 project trainers; supply 1.2 million liters of goat’s milk in milk feeding programs with the farmer recipients as supplier of milk; and increase dairy goat inventory by 19,125 heads.
The project will be done in 69 provinces including Benguet, Mountain Province, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Catanduanes, Masbate, Sorsogon Visayas Aklan, Antique, Zamboanga del Sur, Bukidnon, Davao City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Sur, Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, among others.
The complete details of the project will be presented by the NDA in a project launch to be held on next week (August 28, 2019) at the Convention Hall of the National Meat Inspection Services (NMIS) in Quezon City.