Researchers : Cynthia Remedios, DG. Villegas (MS) and E. P. Supangco
This study aimed to develop a bio-economic model of smallhold dairy crossbred buffalo in General Trias, Cavite, Philippines. To achieve the objectives, descriptive analysis were employed. Prim ary data were obtained from 100 smallhold dairy crossbred buffalo farmers, 12 white cheese processors and 8private schools using semi-structured questionnaires. Secondary data from government and private agencies were also utilized,
Characterization and evaluation of the smallhold dairy crossbred buffalo production and marketing system was done prior to the actual modeling procedure. Results showed that 67% of the animls were crossbreds, 99% of the farmer-respondents practiced extensive type of rearing, 22% supplemented concentrates to the lactating animals, 44% employed cut and carry system and 95% reported low milk yield during dry months. Since all the farmer-respondents considered dairying as their major source of income, majority (71%) hand milk the dam shortly after calving at the expense of the nutritional needs of its nursing calf. Moreover, farmer-respondents (91%) were not involved in navel care management, 62% provided neither housing nor facilities for their animals, 15% practiced calf-feed supplementation and 74% restricted the calf from suckling. Overall, dairy farmer-respondents provided minimal management to the animals particularly to the calf.
The focal problem was the farmer’s low income particularly during the dry months concurrent to the low market demand for buffalo milk due to low marketable milk surplus and low milk price. Cost and returns analysis showed a positive net income of Php 118.95 and Php 25.86, per day and per liter, respectively, during the peak production season.
The aggregate demand for buffalo milk, 10,284 kg per month of the dairy cooperative, white cheese processors and private schools captured a small portion of the total estimated demand for buffalo milk of the General Trias populace. Other demand estimation methods employed showed that the demand for buffalo milk in 2009 was 119,902,123,499 and 143,473 kg per month. This was way above the estimated supply of buffalo milk in the locality amounting to 24,974 kg per month only.
A bio-economic model revealed that calf management, in terms of pre-pubertal weight gain, influences the future performance of the dairy animals. Strong negative linear relationships were found between cumulative 240-day first lactation milk and pre-pubertal average daily gain at 7 months, 9 months and 10 months of age (P<0.01)
Simulation results showed that calves reared under recommended management (RM) tend to have higher first lactation milk yield, higher weights for the entire rearing period, earlier onset of puberty and shorter non-productive life than calves reared under farmer’s practice. A 46.22% increase in buffalo milk supply of the General Trias locality can be achieved if RM practices were employed.