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SOUTH COTABATO TO EXPAND DAIRY PRODUCTION – TAMAYO

The provincial government of South Cotabato is pushing for the expansion of the thriving P47-million dairy production, processing, and marketing project in Polomolok town that is supported by the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP).

South Cotabato Governor Reynaldo Tamayo Jr. said they are currently assisting the project’s lead implementer, Unified Engineering Workers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (UEWMPC), in improving its operations and the marketing of its products.

Tamayo said the local government has been continually coordinating with the PRDP, through the Department of Agriculture-Region 12 (DA-12), to provide the equipment and other facilities needed by the cooperative.

The local government facilitated last year the construction of pre-lactating facilities, specifically a barn and cowshed, milking parlor, calves pen, and quarantine facilities, for the cooperative in Barangay Maligo, Polomolok.

DA-12 officials recently turned over to the provincial government and the UEWMPC a brand-new refrigerated van that will be used in transporting its processed products.

“This will help maintain the quality of their processed milk and eventually allow them to expand their markets,” the governor said during the turnover ceremony.

“The cooperative has been working on further increasing its production to cope with the rising demand in the local markets.”

He added the cooperative has been working on further increasing its production to cope with the rising demand in the local markets.

The dairy project, which formally took off last year, is the main supplier of fresh milk being distributed by the local government and the Department of Education (DepEd) in their supplemental feeding programs.

UEWMPC, which is backed by five dairy cooperatives in parts of the province, has also started its commercial production under the “Happy Cow Unilicious” brand.

“Previously, we are dependent on outside sources for our fresh milk needs but now we have our own steady milk supply through our dairy cooperatives,” Tamayo said.

A report released by the provincial government said the cooperative mainly produces flavored milk, plain milk, and yogurt for the local markets, and on trial stage with dairy cheese, butter as well as milk bar.

It supplies processed milk in 200ml pouches to DepEd’s school-based feeding program in the province, which is being implemented in partnership with the National Dairy Authority (NDA), and was able to provide a total of 174,600 pouches in two batches since last year.

The cooperative has supplied over 24,000 pouches to public schools in Lutayan town in Sultan Kudarat and General Santos City.

PRDP, as part of its convergence scheme, partnered with the NDA for the distribution early last year of at least 120 heads of Holstein Friesian-Jersey cows from Australia to the cooperative.

“Over 40 cows that are now regularly producing milk, reaching a combined 500 liters a day.”

Adlin Almencion, UEWMPC dairy operations manager, said they have over 40 cows that are now regularly producing milk, reaching a combined 500 liters a day.

Almencion said they are working to increase their dairy stocks through at least 68 cows that are currently pregnant.

UEWMPC, through the provincial government, proposed for the funding of the dairy project in 2019 under the PRDP and received a “no objection letter” on Feb. 5 last year from DA and World Bank, which supports the initiative.

The dairy project is so far the biggest that has been approved for the province under the PRDP, which considers it as a pilot project in the country and the first in Mindanao in terms of the partnership with the NDA. 

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