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.
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.