Malaysian group to invest $20M in local dairy farm
MANILA -Malaysian dairy company Farm Fresh Berhad is looking for a viable area in Luzon to construct a $20-million farm to breed cattle, the National Dairy Authority (NDA) said on Thursday.
The NDA said in a message that Farm Fresh was actively seeking to lease land spanning 200 to 400 hectares, preferably in Southern Luzon due to cooler climate.
In July, Malacañang said possible locations included Batangas and the University of Philippines-Los Baños land grant in Famy town, Laguna.
NDA officials recently met with Farm Fresh executives to explore a strategic collaboration, mainly for a dairy farm with a herd of 3,000 cows through Farm Fresh’s local subsidiary Farm Fresh Inc.
The facility is targeted to start operations by 2028 and employ about 200 local workers.
Currently, Farm Fresh is building a $5-million dairy processing facility in the municipality of San Simon in Pampanga, which is slated for completion this year.
“With the prospect of a 6,000-square meter dairy processing facility on the horizon, the demand for local milk volume from local dairy farmers is expected to witness substantial growth,” NDA administrator Gabriel Lagamayo said in a statement.
Farm Fresh founder Loi Tuan Ee said this would increase income opportunities for dairy farmers, adding: “The Philippines and Malaysia exhibit remarkable similarities in terms of topography and climate. We see tremendous potential in the Philippines.”
During his state visit to Malaysia in June, President Marcos expressed his enthusiasm for large-scale cattle rearing for milk production.
“In the Philippines, when you talk about the livestock, we talk about [hog] and chicken. We don’t talk about cattle. Maybe it’s time to introduce it to the market,” Mr. Marcos, also the country’s agriculture chief, told Farm Fresh executives.
Farm Fresh operates five dairy farms in Malaysia and one in Australia, as well as two processing facilities in Malaysia and one in Australia.
So far, the entity has 10,309 dairy cows and bulls. It sold 78.6 million liters of finished products in 2022.
Its international investments include processing facilities for imported milk ingredients in Australia. In this market, it is focusing on the chilled ready-to-drink market initially in Metro Manila. INQ
—Jordeene B. Lagare