The Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) is pushing the dairy farmers in Albay to raise the quality of fresh milk to international standard, saying that producing better products means generating greater income.
Senior Agrarian Reform Program Officer (SARPO) Celso L. Olitin said the DAR picked the dairy farmers of the Albay Dairy Cooperative (ADC) to develop its fresh milk products under the Up-Valuing of agrarian reform beneficiaries (ARB) Product Project of the department.
Oletin said the project is in coordination with the National Dairy Authority (NDA), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), and the Provincial Government of Albay (PGA).
“These three agencies offered to provide the necessary trainings and knowledge transfer to address ADC’s needs on the production, processing, and marketing of their fresh milk products,” Olitin said. He added that the project would undergo product development through product label design and branding.
“Most members of ADC are engaged in dairy farming. With the increasing demand of milk products here, this project will help our farmers improve their products and increase their income,” sail Olitin.
At the project orientation held recently, Emmeline De la Cruz of NDA stressed that the keys to the success of value-adding are careful business planning, adherence to legal and technical regulations to be able to market high quality reasonably priced products.
“Availability of the product in convenient locations that are accessible to consumers and delivery of products to consumers to meet the demand will help ADC sustain its business enterprise,” De la Cruz said.
Salvador C. Garchitorena, NDA Regional Coordinator for Bicol, stressed the importance of good hygienic practices in the production of clean and quality fresh milk.
“Clean milk should be low in bacterial count, has a pleasant creamy smell and color, has no obnoxious odor, no dirt extraneous matter, and no residues of antibiotics and pesticides,” Garchitorena explained to the coop members during the project orientation. (Pinkyroque)