POLOMOLOK, South Cotabato – The fourth big-ticket project under the Philippine Rural Development Program (PRDP) in South Cotabato dubbed as the Dairy Production Project worth P47.4 million has started on its first phase of implementation with the issuance of the “No Objection Letter” (NOL) from the World Bank.
Considered as the first dairy project in Mindanao, it is implemented in partnership with the National Dairy Authority. To date, more than One hundred (100) heads of Holstein Friesian x Jersey cows are now nursing in the milking facilities of Unified Engineering Workers Multi-Purpose Cooperative (UEWMPC), the lead proponent of the project. Since the PRDP is a multi-stakeholder convergence of different government agencies and private institutions, the cows are considered to be a counterpart from the National Dairy Authority (NDA) for the said project. Early last year, Project Development Officer III Marites Tanseco of PPDO together with some implementing agencies led the site inspection of the location for the Pre-Lactating Facilities (Barn/Cow Shed, Milking Parlor, Calves Pen, and Quarantine Facilities) of the lead proponent group UEWMPC located in Brgy. Maligo, Polomolok, South Cotabato. “As of now, UEWMPC is on its production stage, the produced are manufactured as flavored milk, plain milk and yogurts for disposal to the market and is now experimenting dairy cheese and butter, some of its products are converted into milk bars and distributed to Department of Education for feeding,” Tanseco added. UEWMPC-Dairy Operation Manager Adlin Almencion stated that the cows’ milking facilities and other apparatus are still in their original farm in Barangay Pag-asa, Polomolok since the procurement of the necessary equipment are still underway.
“Currently, we are supplying the Department of Education’s School Base Feeding Program in partnership with National Dairy Authority with 200ml pouch milk”, Alemencion said.
He added, that on their first batch, they have supplied 74,600 pouches for South Cotabato and the second batch is more than 100,000 pouches.
“ We also supplied Lutayan, Sultan Kudarat with more than 24,000 pouches, We also supplying some selected schools in Gen. Santos City.” – Almencion added.
More than forty cows are now producing milk, and an average of five hundred (500) liters of milk are collected daily, 68 are currently giving birth.
South Cotabato will benefit not only from the generation of income for the project beneficiaries but also for the supply of dairy milk in the province as well as for our neighboring provinces.
Aside from the dairy project, other PRDP projects being implemented in the province include the P39-million enterprise development project for the production and marketing of cassava granules, Php17.9 million project on Enhancement of Production and Marketing of Dried Green Coffee and the Php17.9 million Integrated Cacao Production, Processing and Fermented Cacao project.