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Small dairy project right for OFWs


By Zac B. Sarian


An investment scheme for a small dairy project mainly targeting OFWs has been launched by a dairy farm in Batangas. Called the Dairy Gold scheme, it also offers an excellent livelihood opportunity to retirees and aspiring farmers.

The proponent is the King Ranch Dairy Farm in Rosario, Batangas which boasts of a herd of more than 200 dairy cows, many of them in the milk line. Actually, there are three investment packages offered under the Dairy Gold scheme, according to King Carlos who manages the farm together with his father Alex.

  • SMALL DAIRY FARMING CAN BE PROFITABLE – King Carlos who manages King Ranch Dairy Farm in Rosario, Batangas is very confident that small scale dairying can be a money-making enterprise. It can be a viable project for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) as well as retirees and aspiring farming entrepreneurs. That is why King Ranch Dairy Farm is offering an investment scheme whereby three to 10 pregnant cows can be availed of by investors in an installment or law-away basis. The calves in photo are crosses of Holstein Friesian and Sahiwal. They are adaptable to the tropical climate of the Philippines, giving a reasonable amount of milk each day of their lactation period.

  • SIMPLE HOUSING – The Friesian-Sahiwal dairy cow crosses require simple housing as in photo. The animal may be fed with improved forage crops like Mombasa grass, Star grass and Super Napier on a cut-and-carry basis. The crossbred dairy cow imported from New Zealand is adaptable to the tropical climate of the Philippines.

  • CALVES AS BONUS IN DAIRYING – The dairy farmer does not only make money from the milk that is produced daily. The calves when raised to a bigger size can command a good price. A female calf raised to breeding size can command a price of P80,000. On the other hand, a male that is fattened for slaughter will normally fetch P40,000. And if the male bull is intended for breeding, the price is about P55,000, according to King Carlos

  • FRIESIAN-SAHIWAL CROSSES – Photo shows King Carlos posing with his milkers consisting of Friesian-Sahiwal crosses from New Zealand. They can produce at least 10 liters of milk a day, and the animal will normally produce milk for 300 days per lactation. That means the dairy farmer has an income every day. A small dairy operation in the province can be a viable business that is easy to manage once the investor learns about the fine points of milk production and marketing.

  • PAKCHONG1 FOR DAIRY COWS – One way to economize on feeds for dairy animals is to grow the fast-growing and highly nutritious forage crops like Pakchong1 or Super Napier in photo. The grass could be fed fresh to the animals or it can be made into silage so that feed is available even during the dry months when green grass is in short supply. Other recommended forage crops for cows are the Mombasa and Star grasses.

  • MILK-FEEDING TIME – The young calves at the King Ranch Dairy Farm are bottle-fed instead of allowing them to suck from their mother. Adequate nutrition is very important for the animals to be in good health and thus develop into productive milkers. Investors in the Dairy Gold investment scheme being offered by King Ranch Dairy Farm undergo hands-on training on the different chores in taking care of the animals as well as in processing and marketing the milk produced.

The investor can choose the package that will suit his financial capacity. Package A consists of three pregnant heifers imported from New Zealand which are crosses of Holstein Friesian and tropical breeds like Sahiwal, Jersey and Ayr. Package B consists of five head while Package C consists of 10 pregnant cows.

The three packages could be the start of a dairy operation in the provinces that could expand eventually to meet the growing market demand in the area where the project is located. A small herd is more manageable, especially for beginners.

Carlos hastens to add that the 10-cow package could be most advantageous if the investor can afford the investment. The overhead cost of the bigger package, he said, is not much bigger than the 3-cow package. The investor will exert about the same effort in operating the small and the bigger packages.

A small herd (the 10-cow pack is also a small herd) is the best way to start dairy farming, according to Carlos. It can be easily managed in terms of operating the farm and marketing the milk produced. Improved techniques of dairying are now available to make dairy farming really profitable.

The project does not require a big farm land. One hectare is enough to take care of the three cows in Package A. The animals can be confined and fed on a cut-and-carry basis. The 5-cow package can be taken care of by a two-hectare land. On the other hand, the 10-cow herd will need only three hectares in the first five years. By that time the herd would have increased and a bigger area may be required.

What are the costs involved? The cost of a cow that is three months pregnant is P130,000. In a few more months, the animal will give birth and milking will also start. Usually, the cow will produce milk for 300 days. In its first lactation, it can produce an average of 10 liters of milk a day for as long as it is properly nourished. Thus, daily income can be derived from the animal. Pasturized milk can fetch P50 to P65 per liter which can be sold to individual consumers, hospitals, schools and other institutions.

The calf is another bonus. The female that is ready to breed can fetch P80,000. On the other hand, a castrated male that is fattened can fetch P40,000. If the male is intended for breeding, the usual price is P55,000.

PAYMENT SCHEME – Carlos says that the investment is available on installment and lay-away basis wherein the investor can pay for the animals within 12 months. During this period, the investor will start developing his farm with the guidance of King Ranch. The investor will attend the hands-on seminars and trainings that will be conducted by highly trained dairy animal technicians in their dairy farm in Rosario, Batangas.

Each package includes a dairy farming starter pack composed of animal healthcare kit that includes medicines, vitamins and minerals and forage production kit that includes planting materials of Mombasa grass, Star grass and Pakchong 1 or Super Napier.

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AGRI-KAPIHAN AT AGRILINK – See you at the Agrilink trade show on Oct. 6-8 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City. There will be an Agri-Kapihan to be conducted by AANI. We’ll also have our exhibit of exotic fruit tree planting materials.

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