In a media release, the Department of Agriculture (DA) of Philippines has announced that the Philippines, through the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), partnered with Baladna Qatar Public Shareholding Company (QPSC) for the establishment of a US$ 500-million integrated dairy facility in the Philippines.
“The DA, through the National Dairy Authority (NDA), fully support and welcome this new initiative as this will help jumpstart catalytic investments in the Philippine dairy industry to contribute to food security, local milk production and processing leading to agri-industrial development,” said DA secretary William Dar who was present during the event with DTI secretary Ramon Lopez and Baladna independent board member Aidan Tynan, on February 11, 2022 in Dubai, UAE.
In his presentation, the DA chief reported that the majority of the country’s annual dairy requirement is supplied by importers and processors, as the Philippines is a big importer of dairy products, particularly milk powder.
He added that, in 2020, the Philippine dairy industry was characterized by increasing local milk production and decreasing imports and exports of milk and dairy products. The local milk production reached 26.71 million liters, an increase of 9.5 percent from 24.38 million liters in 2019.
Baladna QPSC is into raising livestock and production of dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, labneh, cream, dessert, juices, as well as animal fertilizers.
The company is Qatar’s largest locally-owned food and dairy producer, supplying over 95 percent of the country’s fresh dairy products. The firm now owns more than 24,000 Holstein cows on its 2.6 million square-meter facility with 40 state-of-the-art barns, has a daily capacity of producing up to 450 tons of fresh milk and juice products on a daily basis, and has more than 1,650 employees.
Baladna has expressed its interest in setting up a large-scale and fully integrated dairy facility in the Philippines designed to be climate-independent using world-class management systems.
The project will significantly increase local milk production by 120 million liters from the current milk production of 26.71 million liters. This will be bringing the Philippines’ total milk production to 146.71 million liters, thus contributing to addressing the local demand of 2,927.04 million liters, of which bulk is imported.
“The investments will be able to generate 2,000 new jobs during the initial phase of its first full year of operations, providing significant opportunities for domestic employment,” said Dar.
Baladna underscored that their main consideration for supporting the Philippine government is to level the playing field and foster domestic dairy production.
Meanwhile, the support of DTI, through the Board of Investment (BOI), is through the facilitation of the availment of incentives under the Corporate Recovery and Tax Incentives for Enterprises (CREATE) law, which may also be extended to manufacturers who will be sourcing locally their inputs.
DTI and DA have also agreed to work together in looking at measures that will level the playing field such as implementing proper labelling of fresh milk.
“DA has already identified five possible locations for the Baladna project and welcomes the Baladna team in the next few weeks for the site visit in the Philippines. DA will continuously provide the needed support to fast track the implementation of this project in coordination with DTI and other partner agencies,” Dar said.
Source and cover image credit: Department of Agriculture (DA) of Philippines
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