DA pushes for backyard dairy farming
by Lito Dar
Baguio City (6 March) -- Giving a push on backyard dairy farming, the Department of Agriculture (DA-CAR) in coordination with the National Dairy Administration and the provincial government of Benguet held a two-day "Dairy Production in the Cordillera: An investment and Organizational forum" at the Hotel Supreme last week.
According to Agri-business and Marketing Division head Pat Ananayo, DA-CAR has been supporting the region's dairy industry and will continue to push for it until an institutionalized backyard dairy farming is established.
Ananayo pointed out that the region has a big potential in dairy farming, especially Benguet and Mt. Province because of their weather. The problem he said is that livestock growers do not have vast lands for pasture.
Despite the problem on the availability of land requirements for livestock pasturing, the region could still catch a part of the country's dairy market, DA-CAR information officer Robert Domoguen said. "Through zone or clustered dairying we can also catch a part of the country's dairy market, as what the Livestock Resource Center in Puerto Princesa Palawan has been doing," he explained.
The LRC in Puerto Princesa, Palawan has demonstrated that small farmers in the villages when organized and assisted by government can run viable meat and milk industries that benefit their families and village communities in many ways than one, Domoguen added.
Ananayo explained that after thorough assessments of the stakeholders who are interested to venture into the industry, the DA will tap the NDA and the other industries who can help boost backyard dairy farming.
Ananayo also stressed that promoting backyard dairy farming side by side with vegetable farming and even coffee growing would not only give farmers additional income but will also help in preserving the environment.
In the said forum, participants were presented with the Dairy Industry situationers in the national, regional and provincial level. They were also given presentations on the present technology in dairy farming and the possible opportunities in dairy farming by dairy experts like Mt High Livestock Multi-purpose Cooperative; PCC Science City of Munoz, Nueva Ecija and Alaminos Goat Farm in Laguna.
The DA will also conduct a similar forum in Mountain Province. (PIA) [top]