Dairy farmers record higher productivity with PRDP
Dairy carabao farmers in San Agustin, Isabela now reap benefits from the enterprise and infrastructure support brought by the Department of Agriculture’s Philippine Rural Development Project (DA-PRDP).
The Dairy Carabao Enterprise of Isabela is a completed small enterprise that caters to about 78 farmer-members of the San Agustin Dairy Cooperative (SADACO). Through the enterprise, the cooperative received various equipment and processing facilities such as electric blenders, milk tanks, chillers, milking machines, ice cream maker, water purifier, incubator and more.
The project also provided a refrigerated van and generator to prolong the freshness of milk, and a P3.4-million milking barn as infra support.
To measure the catalytic impact of these interventions, key informant interviews were conducted as part of the pilot roll-out of the Value Chain Assessment. Led by the I-PLAN and Monitoring & Evaluation (M&E) Unit, the activity assessed how PRDP and non-PRDP interventions address critical constraints identified in value chain segments. It also aims to evaluate how benefits were distributed among the value chain players, and to determine how the improvements in the chain lead to the realization of benefits by the target beneficiaries.
Results from farmer interviews and surveys reveal that with PRDP equipment, average daily production of raw milk per crossbred carabao increased by 13%. Daily sale of raw milk also increased from 166 pesos per liter to 215 pesos, or about 29.5%.
Shelf life of dairy carabao products have drastically increased since the delivery of the chillers and freezers, according to Dr. Helen Sevilla, focal person for I-REAP for the province of Isabela.
Raw milk, for instance, would usually last for four hours unrefrigerated. With the new equipment, it now lasts for about one month. Pasteurized and flavored milk and other dairy products now last for more than two months. This resulted to about 19% increase in the products’ selling price.
Dr. Sevilla added that before receiving equipment from PRDP, farmers had no assurance that the water used in processing is safe.
“Now with the provided water purifier, we are assured that water used is very safe. Also, in cases of sudden power interruptions, the milk can still maintain its freshness because of the generator set,” said Dr. Sevilla.
With the processing facilities from PRDP, there is a 150% increase in the plant processing capacity of the cooperative, and 56% increase in average daily milk collection.
The farmers likewise testified that the new refrigerated van doubled the capacity of milk collection.
“There is a huge difference comparing the situation before PRDP and now. More farmers are now encouraged to produce milk. We hope to see San Agustin as a dairy capital of the country,” said Manrico Claro, a SADACO member.
He added, “Sanitation and spoilage issues were addressed.”
More series of Value Chain Assessments are set to be conducted across the cluster to continuously evaluate different interventions identified and implemented in the Provincial Commodity Investment Plans (PCIPs). (Kayla Arceo, North Luzon InfoACE, with inputs and data from NPCO I-PLAN)