The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the enterprise development component (I-REAP) of its World Bank-assisted Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), will upgrade a cooperative-owned dairy processing facility in Mallig town in Isabela.
The P32-million I-REAP sub-project Isabela Dairy Enterprise, will upscale the production, processing and marketing of milk and milk-based products such as raw milk, pasteurized milk, flavored milk, yogurt and milk-o-gel.
DA said the initiative is expected to benefit more than 2,400 households in Mallig and nearby towns.
As with other I-REAP sub-projects, the funding comes from the PRDP’s World Bank loan proceeds, and shared allotments from the DA, the local government units and the proponent group. For the Isabela Dairy Enterprise, the proponent group is the Maligaya Development Cooperative.
The facility will be located in the proponent group’s property in Barangay Maligaya and will be supported by its affiliate cooperatives, namely, the Quezon Dairy Farmers Cooperative, Roxas, Isabela Tobacco Farmers Credit Cooperative, Cagayan Valley Maunlad Cattle and Dairy Cooperative, and Dairy Multi-Purpose Cooperative.
During a stakeholders’ consultation of the Luzon A Cluster leg of the First World Bank Implementation Support Mission to the PRDP, Edwin Respicio of the Cagayan Valley Maunlad Cattle and Dairy Cooperative said that the project will bring an assured market for dairy farmers in Mallig and in surrounding municipalities. He added that this will likewise increase incomes for women and empower them.
“Women will have tasks to be involved in. They will [mostly] do the processing and marketing [activities],” he said.
He added that even small farmers can participate in the project activities including milk gathering and selling fodder.
According to the proponent group, the enterprise will provide dairy raisers with a daily cash inflow of about P184 per cattle head for raw milk production. This will also popularize milk consumption among children, addressing malnutrition issues.
The processed products will be marketed through cooperatives, government agencies, local government units, individual dealers and cooperative members. Accessible along the highway, the proposed dairy processing plant with cold storage will also have a store that will cater to walk-in costumers.
With vast tracks of land suitable for growing dairy animals, Isabela has identified dairy its top priority commodity under its Provincial Commodity Investment Plan (PCIP). The PCIP is a tool used by the PRDP in rationalizing the interventions for commodities, ensuring that these interventions are situated within the overall development, and agricultural and agribusiness development tracks of a province.
The crafting of the PCIP is value chain analysis-based, considering suitability, market potential, impact on the poor, and number of growers and producers.
The dairy enterprise sub-project will be complemented by a farm-to-market road (FMR) sub-project under the PRDP’s rural infrastructure development component (I-BUILD). The FMR will cover Mallig’s five dairy-producing barangays.
The PRDP is a six-year national project that aims to establish a modern, inclusive, value-chain oriented and climate-resilient agriculture and fisheries sector. It is implemented through the partnership of the DA, the World Bank and local government units.
A team from the World Bank is currently in the country to visit several sub-projects to assess the progress of, and address issues and concerns on the implementation of the PRDP. (Joel C. Atencio)