PHILIPPINES – Baladna Qatar Public Shareholding Company (QPSC), the largest dairy company in Qatar, is partnering with the government of the Philippines to set up a US$500 million integrated dairy project.  

Philippines partners of the project include the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI).  

The Philippines is a major dairy importer and in 2020, the country imported approximately 2.94 million metric tons of dairy products, according to data from Statista. 

In that same period, skimmed milk powder was the country’s highest imported dairy product. 

Progress towards dairy localization

The country has however been trying to make progress towards local production with the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showing that in 2020, local milk production grew by 9.5% to 26.71m liters.

 This is attributed to the increase in the number of dairy animals, consisting of cattle (64%), buffalo (31%), and goat (5%).  

Further investment is however required to unlock the country’s full dairy potential and the ministry is working to retool local production strategies and actively partner with the private sector. 

DA secretary William Dar meeting with DTI secretary Ramon Lopez and Baladna independent board member Aidan Tynan in Dubai, UAE welcomed the project. 

He noted that the integrated project “will help jumpstart catalytic investments in the Philippine dairy industry to contribute to food security, local milk production and processing leading to agri-industrial development. ” 

Baldana; a strategic partner

Partnering with Baladna QPSC is strategic as the company raises livestock and produces dairy products including milk, yogurt, cheese, labneh, cream, dessert, juices, as well as animal fertilizers.  

The company is Qatar’s largest locally-owned food and dairy producer, supplying more than 95% of the country’s fresh dairy products.  

The firm now owns more than 24,000 Holstein cows on its 2.6 million squaremeter facility with 40 barns. 

It has a daily capacity of producing up to 450 tons of fresh milk and juice products and has more than 1,650 employees.  

It is expected that the Philippines integrated dairy project will increase local milk production by 120m liters to 146.71m liters, contributing to addressing the local demand of 2.93bn liters, of which bulk is imported. 

“The investments will be able to generate 2,000 new jobs during the initial phase of its first full year of operations, providing significant opportunities for domestic employment,” said Dar.  

DTI and DA have also agreed to work together to look at measures to level the playing field such as implementing proper labeling of fresh milk.  

DA has already identified five possible locations for the Baladna project and welcomes the Baladna team in the next few weeks for the site visit in the Philippines.  

The department has also commited to continuously provide the needed support to fast track the implementation of this project in coordination with DTI and other partner agencies.  

Liked this article? Subscribe to Food Business Africa News, our regular email newsletters with the latest news insights from Africa and the World’s food and agro industry. SUBSCRIBE HERE