GENERAL SANTOS CITY: The thriving dairy industry in Region 12 (Soccsksargen) has received a major boost with the delivery here on Monday night of some 1,285 dairy goats from Australia.
Arlan Mangelen, Department of Agriculture-Region 12 (DA-12) executive director, said Tuesday the milking goats are part of a grant from the National Dairy Authority (NDA) to help further expand the region’s community-based dairy enterprises.
He said the animals, which arrived around 8 p.m. aboard a Malaysia Airlines cargo aircraft from Australia, will be raised in production and multiplier farms operated by three cooperatives and a goat raisers association in the region.
The goats were immediately brought to a quarantine facility in Alabel, Sarangani, where they will stay for 30 days prior to their distribution.
The recipients are the Cabu-ay Pioneers Multipurpose Cooperative here; Sta. Cruz Multi-Purpose Cooperative (MPC) of Maasim, Sarangani; Backyard Goat Raisers Association of Banga, South Cotabato; and, Mua-an Farmers’ MPC of Kidapawan City.
Mangelen said the dairy animals were acquired by NDA under the expanded Intensified Community Based Dairy Enterprise Development project supported by the United States (US) Department of Agriculture.
The dairy project is funded by the US Public Law 480 or USPL480 program, also known as the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act, he said.
“It aims to develop the local dairy goat industry and boost local milk production to achieve significant milk sufficiency level,” he said in a statement.
The official said the distribution or dispersal of the foreign-bred goats will further improve the milking stocks of dairy producers in the region.
He said it will provide additional livelihood opportunities as well as increase the income of dairy farmers in the rural areas.
Mangelen added that the agency will continue to provide the necessary assistance to the dairy industry and enable them to become key contributors in the region’s food production efforts.