NDA, Ilocos Sur First District partner for dairy development
Written by: Karen Joy U. Manalo
Recognizing the potentials of the province of Ilocos Sur as a dairy zone, the National Dairy Authority (NDA) and the Office of Congressman of the 1st District of Ilocos Sur joined forces to promote and boost the dairy industry in the province.
To formally introduce the ongoing dairy development efforts in the area, stakeholders were convened to take part in the first Ilocos Sur Dairy Fair held on April 26, 2018 at the NSCC Plaza and Convention Center, Caoayan, Ilocos Sur.
Dr. Joey Warren A. Bragado, Provincial Veterinarian of Ilocos Sur, welcomed the participants of the event. In his message, he highlighted their vision and the recent developments made for the province’s dairy industry.
“We hope that through this dairy fair, we can get inspiration from NDA as we aim to boost the dairy industry in Ilocos Sur. At present, our country imports more than ninety percent of its milk requirements and we envision our province to be one of the contributors in milk production in the future. Although we are still in the initial stage of dairy development, we are glad to have established the Ilocos Sur Dairy Fair and Processing Center through the initiative of Governor Ryan Singson. The aim of the project is to address malnutrition cases in Ilocos Sur and we hope that other Local Chief Executives (LCEs) would also adopt and duplicate the project so we can altogether attain our vision for the dairy industry in our province.”
NDA Administrator Marilyn B. Mabale provided an overview of the NDA. She mentioned that, as an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture (DA), the NDA was created by the National Dairy Development Act of 1995 (Republic Act 7884) to ensure the accelerated development of the Philippine dairy industry.
Highlighting the NDA’s vision and mission she said “In a nutshell, what do we want to attain and do as an agency? First, we want to increase the number of our dairy animals - be it goat, carabaos or cow. Second, we aim to increase our local milk production. Third and equally important, we want to increase the income of our farmers.”
She also shared about the essential ingredients that the farmers need to achieve success in dairy.
“Dairying is a 365-day undertaking. Without hard work, perseverance, unity and cooperation, we cannot move forward,” she said.
Also gracing the event was Ilocos Sur 1st District Representative Deogracias Victor B. Savellano. In his message, he underscored the importance of having a program in place that could significantly increase local milk production and reduce dependency on importation. He noted that at present, the country’s dairy sector only meets one percent of the milk demand and imports 99 percent of it. Thus, he enjoined the participants, with the assistance from the NDA, to take part in making the necessary actions that would help address the issue in support of the development of the local dairy industry.
Addressing the farmers he said, “Let us unite our efforts to come up with a dairy program that will be beneficial to our province and district. We can start by preparing your existing animals so the same can be used in producing milk for your children and for our dairy industry. You can be sure that your representative in the first district will work hand-in-hand with the NDA to boost the dairy industry in our district.”
Meanwhile, to inspire the participants of the fair, the NDA has also invited progressive dairy farmers from the North Luzon region to share about their success stories in dairy. They are: Ms. Jaclyn dela Cruz, dairy farmer at GK Jack Farm and member of Sta. Maria Dairy (A division of Catmon MPC, Sta. Maria, Bulacan); Mr. Luisito dela Rosa, Business Manager of Catmon MPC, Sta. Maria Bulacan; and Mr. Virgilio Joaquin, dairy farmer and farmer teacher at Joaquin Dairy Farm.
Presently, there is an ongoing evaluation of project sites in the province conducted by the NDA North Luzon Department. Upgrading of the farmers’ existing animals and orientations for LGU technicians and cooperative development technicians shall also commence soon.