Government is working closely with the dairy industry in the implementation of an agreed package that will addressed many of the major problems confronting dairy farmers, according to FCDCL (Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Ltd) Chairman Simon Cole.
The package has been designed by the Dairy Leadership Group (DILG) as part of the New Zealand funded $10 million initiative to improve the dairy industry.
The DILG is comprised of representatives from the New Zealand Government, Fiji Ministry of Agriculture, Fiji Cooperative Dairy Company Limited. Fiji Dairy Limited. Prime NZ Consulting with representatives from the BTec team (those tackling tuberculosis), and Bio Security in attendance.
According to Cole, Government has already introduced a farmer’s compensation package for lost cattle to tuberculosis.
Working with the Group, the Government has determined that increased efficiency leading to the recovery of the industry can be achieved by implementing a package of interventions that included:
- Developing sufficient quality pasture (very little pasture land developed)
- Constructing proper fencing for consistent pasture rotation
- The targeted use of concentrate feeds particularly in early lactation.
- Proper calf feeding including a milk re-placer and a feed ration to ensure the viability of replacement stock.
- Assistance with water reticulation.
The Group is presently identifying money to fund the package including a proper price for a litre of milk.
“We need the farmers to invest in the industry, we need the farmers to benefit from the packaged improvements and we need them to see a profit. With Government’s continued support we believe this could become a reality,” said Cole.