Philippines and Qatar to partner on $500m integrated dairy project
“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 meeting with DTI secretary Ramon Lopez and Baladna independent board member Aidan Tynan in Dubai, UAE.
In his presentation, the DA chief reported 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 26.71m liters, an increase of 9.5% from 24.38m liters in 2019.
Baladna QPSC raises livestock and produces 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 more than 95% of the country’s fresh dairy products. The firm now owns more than 24,000 Holstein cows on its 2.6m square-meter facility with 40 barns, has a daily capacity of producing up to 450 tons of fresh milk and juice products, and has more than 1,650 employees.
The project will increase local milk production by 120m liters to 146.71m liters, contributing to addressing the local demand of 2.93bn 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.
DTI and DA have also agreed to work together to look at measures to level the playing field such as implementing proper labeling 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.