BASED on a report made by the National Dairy Authority, the country’s milk import in 2018 totalled 531.47 million kilograms (kg) that is worth some ₱52 billion, which indicates that Filipinos are huge consumers of milk.
But local milk production contributed some 23.69 million kg where only 3-percent came from dairy goats.
Local goat milk production, which averages 1.17 liters/day per animal, was reportedly affected by scarcity of feeds and poor genetics, which are cited as some of the challenges of the industry.
To increase goat milk production, a study made by the Central Luzon State University (CLSU) explored the use of a shrub, Indigofera zollingeriana, as feed for dairy goats.
Titled “Enhancing Milk Production of Dairy Goats through Indigofera zollingeriana Supplementation,” the study is led by Dr. Edgar A. Orden of the CLSU in Nueva Ecija.
The study is one of the three finalists in the Research Category of the National Symposium on Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (NSAARRD).
Initiated by the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-PCAARRD), NSAARRD aims to recognize the significant contributions of individuals and institutions in uplifting the status of agriculture, aquatic, and natural resources research and development in the country.
NSAARRD is held yearly as a featured activity in line with the celebration of PCAARRD’s anniversary.
This year, the Council adopts the theme “PCAARRD at 8: Addressing Regional Needs through Sustained Partnership.”
Meanwhile, it was learned that the shrub’s potential was initially observed by the late Rene Almeda, a farmer from Alaminos, Laguna.
His herd’s milk production increased exponentially when he introduced Indigofera to the goats.
Following this observation and after Almeda challenged research institutions to investigate the science behind Indigofera’s potential, the CLSU studied the shrub’s nutritional composition and degradation characteristics.
The researchers also studied Indigofera’s potential in increasing milk yield as well as its financial benefit for goat raisers.
The offshoot of CLSU’s study of the product is now registered with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) as Sure Feed for Goats or “SFEED” – pelletized Indigofera which is said to be affordable, nutritionally-balanced, and highly digestible for goats.
The study also noted a 195.86 liters milk yield in 110-day lactation when the lactating Saanen does were fed with Indigofera and napier.
The yield was reportedly 23.61 percent higher than milk yield from goats fed with Leucaena-based diet, which only recorded 149.6 liters.
In terms of cost, feeding lactating does with SFEED together with napier in 110 days only costs P1,011.37 or an additional cost of only P5.45 compared with Leucaena-based diet.
According to the study, feed intake is an important factor to boost milk production.
With the increased feed intake, the study observed higher milk production especially from early to peak of lactation.
Investing in SFEED for 115 metric ton production, which include the pelletizing machine, labor, and operational expenses, will cost P1,536,689.
According to the investment analysis, the internal rate of return is about 15 percent. (email@example.com/PN)