Demand for fresh milk surpasses production

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Tuesday, March 11, 2014

THE National Dairy Authority (NDA) of the Department of Agriculture (DA) revealed during its 19th anniversary Monday that demand for fresh milk in Mindanao increased and even surpassed production last year.

“Several years ago, we didn't imagine that there would be a time that the demand in the market for fresh liquefied milk would be this high. We have seen a steady annual growth rate of 10 percent in the market, which reached to 4.5 million liters of milk just for Mindanao and 12 million liters in the national level as of 2013. This year, we’ve increased our target to six million liters for Mindanao,” said Marilyn Mabale, regional manager, NDA Mindanao Island Office.

Mabale pointed out that the shift in the demand for fresh milk is due to people’s changed perception on health and wellness.


Healthier lives

“We have seen over the past few years that there had been an increase in people’s need for healthier ways of living brought about by mass media and the advent of the massive information from the internet. This in turn has turned the tide around in the demand for fresh milk. After 19 years, our success story is the people’s need for a healthier life,” said Mabale.

The NDA regional manager further explained the shift in the demand for fresh milk.

“Back in the 90’s Bukidnon supplied the bulk of our fresh milk, now we have farmers from Misamis Oriental, here in Cagayan de Oro City and even new farmers in Misamis Occidental and Caraga Region. All the six regions in Mindanao have now farmers producing fresh liquefied milk with Caraga and the ARMM as the new players,” she said.

Data from the NDA indicate both Davao and Misamis Oriental are the two largest suppliers of liquefied milk.

“Both the Northern Mindanao Federation of Dairy Cooperative in El Salvador and the Federation of Davao Dairy Farmers Coop in Davao City process more than 8,000 liters of fresh milk daily constituting two of the largest producers for Mindanao,” Mabale added.

Isidro Albano, a farmer from Maragusan in Compostella Valley, said he got into the dairy farming business in 2012 after he was awarded with a loan of 90 cows from NDA.

“The growth of the demand has enabled us, dairy farmers, and also pushed our production. Right now my farm produces 18 liters of milk per head. From the 90 cows that were loaned to me, now we have 205 including calves and some of the adult females are now pregnant and due to give birth,” said Albano.

Albano is optimistic that by 2015 his production of milk will double and that more consumers will be educated to buy fresh milk for its health value.

NDA revealed that by May this year about 850 cows will arrive from New Zealand and about 265 will be distributed to farmer-beneficiaries all over Mindanao come June.

Published in the Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro newspaper on March 11, 2014.

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