The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the enterprise development component (I-REAP) of its World Bank-assisted Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), will soon 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.
The initiative is expected to benefit more than 2,400 households in Mallig and nearby towns.
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 and 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.
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 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.