Agriculture Sec. Manny F. Piñol and Gov. Edgar M. Chatto led the country’s biggest Dairy Program Consultation on Friday at the Philippine Carabao Center Conference Hall in Lomangog, Ubay in a bid to develop the province as a dairy production powerhouse.
The caucus with provincial dairy stakeholders was the Secretary’s way of “Pakigpulong ni Sec. Manny F. Pinol Kauban ang mga Lokal nga Opisyal, Mag-uuma ug Mananagat.”
Among the attendees were farmers, fisherfolks and other stakeholders where the innovative concept of making Bohol the “Dairy Capital of the Philippines” was fully explained and discussed by resource persons and Sec. Piñol himself.
He admitted that he loves Bohol because he grew up in a community of Bol-anons in Mindanao where his father worked as a teacher and a farmer at the same time; and this is why he very well knows the plight of farmers and fisherfolks and “I am determined to change their lives for the better.”
Another admission from him is that he and Pres. Rodrigo Duterte chose Bohol to be the “Dairy Capital of the Philippines” because Boholanos are a good and industrious people.
However, despite being teased of having political ambitions, he gave his word that he won’t be running for the Senate for he has yet so many plans for Philippine agriculture.
For one, the tall order of making Bohol the “Dairy Capital of the Philippines” would initially put in 5,000 cow heads called the Girolando Breed, currently the fastest milk producers in the world capable of producing 109 liters of milk per day.
The DA is aiming to increase the country’s current milk production of 1.8 percent to 10 percent in 2022.
Piñol said he is dedicating his life to the President and the Filipino people and his department is slated to put in more funds for dairy capital, research and development, specifically here in Bohol.
He said that “the President and I are steadfast in our commitment for Bohol for we will not stay in our positions forever.”
He added that national government is looking for ways to have available and affordable food for the Filipinos and this is why it is delving deeper on how to continue programs that are sustainable.
It has also offered Nestlé Philippines to put up facilities here, buy our milk produce and package it here, all in one setting.
For existing cooperatives in the province, Piñol committed to give 240 cow heads to each organization and to help modernize their dairy operations.
For those who are non-members, they will be persuaded to plant corn and will be assisted so they could harvest their crops in just 70 days.
Starting next year, the Philippines will start importing goats from the United States; and goats, cows or what have you, Piñol said, the multiplier concept will be adopted by farmers with the DA’s assistance.
Moreover, the national government will also release an initial capital of P30M as easy access loan with no collateral at 6% per annum for farmers.
Piñol gave out the information that Israel is the No. 1 milk-producing country in the world and it has already invested 40,000 heads of the Girolando breed in Vietnam.
Another important information gathered from him is that in Uruguay, embryo transplant for cows is already available.
Inspired by the relevant scientific information, the DA will put up research facilities here, thus making Bohol “the science and dairy capital of the Philippines.”
Understanding that stakeholders are hungry for more information, Provincial Veterinarian Dr. Stella Marie Lapiz presented the Bohol Dairy Industry Profile to the audience and DA Regional Technical Director Joel Elumba gave updates on the Ubay Stock Farm.
An open forum with the Bohol Media immediately followed where relevant information were shared by Sec. Piñol, Gov. Chatto, DA ASec. for Livestock Enrico Garzon, Jr., and Managing Director Federico “Coco” Krause, General Manager for India and Southeast Asia Ronen Koll, and Chief Technical Officer Alfonso Serrano, all of Genex Biotech.
Cong. Art Yap of the Third Distrcit, who earlier at a press conference with Bohol Media admitted that Bohol governorship is “one of my options,” also attended the dialogue, him being a former DA Secretary.
Earlier Friday morning, both Sec. Piñol and Gov. Chatto graced the Ubay Fiesta Rodeo sponsored by LGU-Ubay and DA RFO-7-Ubay Stock Farm. (Janet Villarojo)