Pangasinan's pilot dairy farm a model livelihood project
July 21, 2011 10:43 pm
By Leonardo V. Micua
LAOAC, Pangasinan, July21 — A small multi-purpose cooperative put up here through the ingenuity of former Rep. Mark Cojuangco of the Fifth District of Pangasinan in 2008 is now supplying fresh milk daily to wide areas in Pangasinan, La Union and the Cordilleras.
Called 5th District Multi-Purpose Cooperative located in Barangay Maraboc, Laoac, the project is now being continued by Cojuangco’s wife, Rep. Kimi Cojuangco as a model project in daily production not only in Pangasinan but also the whole country.
Now producing 1,200 liters of fresh milk daily, the project is now easily a show window throughout Northern Luzon, literally putting the once obscure town of Laoac in the map.
Fresh milk comes from 120 lactating cows being raised in the dairy farm, said Jocelyn Peralta, the firm’s processing manager. She said that each cow produces 15 to 17 liters of milk a day.
The dairy farm has some 300 cows and about 200 calves, including another 300 being raised in Sison, Meanwhile similar dairy farms are being developed in Villasis and Alcala.
All these cows come from New Zealand and Australia and are very prolific producers of milk.
The cooperative processes milk manually yet but a modern pasteurizer is now being installed, capable of processing 1,000 liters of milk per hour.
Such kind of pasteurizer is only the second of its kind in the Philippines yet, the first one being located in Isabela.
Employing some 100 workers, coming from Laoac and other parts of the fifth district, the farm maintains four silos where cow feeds are being stocked and fermented.
Ronnie Casaway, the farm manager, noted that the silos are the first of its kind in the Philippines yet.
These were perhaps copied from Australia where the Cojuangcos operate a ranch.
Casaway explained that the cow feeds essentially comprise of corn which is produced in the Philippines just once a year. The corn, from stalks to leaves, are chopped and placed in the silos to be fermented to become good food for cows.
Peñaflor said the dairy farm is now also the source of fresh milk for the feeding programs for malnourished children in different public schools
The companies that are getting fresh milk from the coop are Magic, owners of malls in Pangasinan, and ShoeMart Inc. which owns malls in Baguio and Rosales, Pangasinan.
She said that aside from supplying fresh milk to malls and supermarkets, the cooperative is also delivering 100 liters daily to the Victory Liner Stations in Pangasinan.
Peralta said the dairy farm is not only producing fresh milk but also white cheese. Their product is called Sun Fresh District Milk.
She said that their future projects include yoghurt and ice cream processing plants to be located also in Barangay Maraboc.
Rep. Cojuangco said the dairy farm will soon be duplicated in others towns of the fifth district of Pangasinan, like Pozorrubio, Binalonan, Urdaneta, Sto. Tomas and Bautista.
She said she will use part of her Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) in building silos in this town for them to also start their respective dairy projects.
Rep. Cojuangco said that through the project, they want to open up the eyes of the people of Pangasinan that dairy has a big potential in the province as a source of livelihood, income and food.
The cooperative also disperses cattle to cooperators in Laoac town, providing farmers cattle weighing 200 kilos for them to raise. When the cattle gained weight, they only return 200 kilos to the cooperative and keep the rest. (PNA)