Sounds like a much welcomed news to the Philippine Dairy Industry is the report by the Foreign Agricultural Service (FAS) forecasted by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). Accordingly, the “country’s dairy production to increase by three percent to 26,800 metric tons (MT).
The rebound projected in 2022 “. . . will be driven by the active implementation of the government’s dairy development projects geared toward increasing milk production.” USDA adds that “. . . despite the projected increase, total production will only supply one percent of the country’s total annual dairy requirement and the rest to be served by imported milk.”
In 2021, the country’s dairy production decreased by two percent to 26,000 MT due to a reduced dairy herd following the slaughter and retiring of older animals. Meanwhile, the slow production growth is attributed to the inability to increase the dairy herd, mostly due to insufficient funding and little investment from the private sector.
The USDA predicts higher consumption to reach 3 million MT far from the 26,000 MT produced in the same year (2021). Also, contributing to the increased dairy product is the Milk Feeding Program (MFP), jointly implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Department of Agriculture (DA). The latter remains the growth driver for the local milk consumption per USDA study.
The same US agency reports that 60 percent of the local fresh milk production goes to the MFP and the rest to local commercial sales or household use.
The Philippine government should address the following to see the dairy production attain full recovery level as espoused by the USDA: 1) increase dairy herd by infusing fund, and 2) encourage active private investment in the dairy industry-related ventures.
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