• Dairy agency offers cows to farmers

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    ILOILO CITY: Farmers’ organizations and local government units (LGUs) are being encouraged to take advantage of a National Dairy Authority (NDA) cattle dispersal program offered under a dairy enterprise development initiative.

    Vicente B. Bitolinamisa III, National Dairy Authority (NDA) project manager for Panay and Guimaras, said an organization, cooperative or LGU can request for as much as 10 heads of cows as a start-up herd for its dairy enterprise.

    This can be availed of by sending letter request signed by the organization’s chairman, noted by the municipal agriculturist and endorsed by the municipal mayor to the head of the NDA in the Visayas.

    After validation, evaluation of the site, the organization’s capacity and integrity and training of the farmers who will be involved in the dairy enterprise project, a memorandum of agreement will be signed between the NDA and the proponent group.

    Payment involves one calf draft for every cattle received, payable over five years in the case for an organization and LGUs. A 20 percent cash payment based on the prevailing cost of dairy cattle will be charged to private individual proponents upon delivery, and the remaining 30 percent cash payment and 50 percent payment in kind/calf draft is payable over five years.

    Bitolinamisa further explained that if an organization or farmer received a pregnant heifer it must be repaid also with a pregnant heifer for the next beneficiary. Likewise, if they receive a 250-kilogram female calf it must be paid also with a 250-kg female calf.

    Bitolinamisa said that the Holstein Friesian breed can give a total of 14 liters a day for 300 days given proper management.

    It must be noted that the country imports an annual average of 215 million kilograms of milk and milk by-products amounting to P17.3 billion. Another 17 percent of imports is comprised of milk powder for other countries, Bitolinamisa said.

    Given this, he said raising dairy cows is a potential and sustainable business for interested and aggressive farmers’ organizations with proven competence in animal management and marketing.

    PNA

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