March 22, 2023
A Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) volunteer is on board to share the latest dairy innovations with farmers from the Dairy Farmers of Dumaguete Cooperative (DFADCO).
Last year, JICA has resumed sending volunteers under its Japan Overseas Cooperation Volunteers (JOCV) Program after about two years' interval under the COVID-19 pandemic. The JOCV, recipients of the Ramon Magsaysay Award in 2016 due to its goodwill and contributions, have been lending technical expertise to support the Philippines in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) on the ground.
KUDO Shohei, who acquired his agricultural management expertise from Hokkaido College of Agriculture and his professional career in the fields of feeding and health management of cows in Japan, will be sharing his know-how and experiences with local dairy farmers in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental. He also supports to improve awareness on consuming fresh milk from healthy cows.
"The dairy industry is still new and developing in the Philippines especially in Negros Oriental. The industry only started 15 years ago, thus there is a need to improve more on dairy production. With Mr. Kudo's assignment in our cooperative, we hope to develop better dairy management and innovate new technologies for dairy productions, said Mr. Joselito Sapuan, DFADCO Chief of Operations.
According to Department of Science and Technology - Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic, and Natural Resources Research and Development, the dairy industry is important to development in the Philippines because it helps address food security and provides livelihood benefits for many Filipinos.
"On an average, DFADCO can collect 1,600 liters of milk monthly from farmer members. But they need to target more than 8,000 liters per month to at least break even the costs and profits," Sapuan added.
The Volunteer Section Chief of the JICA Philippines office, FUKUI Masakazu said, "The JOCV Program has a track record of introducing Japan's innovative methods and know-how with Filipino farmers. Our first Japanese volunteers in the 1960s were the first to introduce new breeding techniques in animal livestock raising. The continuous dispatch of JOCVs in the Philippines is testament of the solid partnership JICA has with the Philippines."
"As I've been working with a dairy company in Japan, I wanted to meet other dairy farmers, especially in the Philippines. I am so thrilled to work with the DFADCO to see and observe their dairy farming activities, learn more about their work, as well as contribute my own knowledge and skills in dairy production," JOCV KUDO shared. "Furthermore, in the spirit of mutual respect and mutual understanding, I also hope to be a ‘grassroots ambassador' and build a strong bridge between our two friendly countries," said Mr. KUDO.
The JOCV Program is an essential component of JICA's Official Development Assistance (ODA) in the Philippines. Aside from being a platform to share Japanese knowhow and innovations, the Program also teaches self-help efforts in partner countries for sustainable, inclusive, and resilient economic growth.
During the turnover of JOCV KUDO from JICA to the DFADCO as organized by the PNVSCA.