Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Gov’t to spend P162 million to buy thousands of cattle


THE GOVERNMENT has ear-marked about P162 million to buy more than a thousand imported cattle to improve the genes of local stock.

In a newspaper advertisement yesterday, the Agriculture department said it is inviting suppliers for the delivery of 1,200 heads of purebred American Brahman cattle and 25 bulls.

The government has set the opening bid at P100,000.

American Brahman is the first beef cattle breed developed in the United States which has been one of the top choices in crossbreeding programs due to its "exceptional hardiness and physical stamina, its ability to…live twice as long as normally expected," according to the Web site of the American Brahman Breeders Association.

National Dairy Authority (NDA) Administrator Orkhan H. Usman said two weeks ago that his office had asked the Department of Budget and Management to release some P450 million for the importation of dairy cattle.

This is because prices of foreign cattle go up every year, Mr. Usman had said. Last year for instance, P450 million could still buy about 4,000 heads of dairy cattle. At today’s price of P125,000 per head however, the country can only buy 3,600 of the animals with the same budget, he explained.

The Philippines can supply only 1% of its dairy requirement, and growth in dairy production has slowed since 2006. NDA’s goal is achieve liquid milk sufficiency in the eight years. -- KJRL

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