Philippines Smallholder Dairy: Landscape Analysis and Research Priorities


Economic growth and a growing middle class in the Philippines have led to a rapid increase in the demand for dairy-based products with an estimated doubling in per capita consumption in the past five years; from 15 kg per annum in 2015 to 32 kg in 2020. However, the relative contribution of domestic milk production to national consumption in the Philippines has declined from 1.2% in 2015 to a forecast 0.8% in 2020.

Farm-gate prices in the Philippines are relatively high considering the global average, and therefore offer significant scope to improve the profitability and size of the SHD sector. Retail prices of fresh milk products in urban areas such as Manilla are also relatively high when compared to countries like Australia and New Zealand. The comparatively high prices for local fresh dairy products show that demand for these products are strong and exceed supply of local milk, presenting an opportunity for dairy sector development.

Available reports and data on the SHD sector in the Philippines discuss a variety of barriers to growth, for instance, low cow and farm productivity, lack of supply chain cooling infrastructure, dysfunctional markets, poor access to quality support services and consumers demanding convenient, safer products for consumption. However, much of the information is superficial, incomplete or out of date.

Developing the domestic dairy industry is seen as a priority for the Philippines Government. A request to the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) by the Philippines Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development (PCAARRD) initiated the development of this Small Research Activity (SRA) proposal to undertake a scoping exercise and landscape analysis of the dairy industry. The outcome of which will be a series of research priorities and potential research partners, with the intent of a larger research project to follow.

Project objectives

Objective 1: Analyse the markets, value chains and key features of the Philippines dairy sector, including the contribution of smallholder farmers (SHD).

Objective 2: Describe and analyse dairy farming systems in the Philippines, including current attributes, opportunities and barriers for SHDs.

Objective 3: Identify and formulate key research priorities and potential partnerships for a longer-term dairy development project in the Philippines with an emphasis on the commercial sector.

Project partners

Collaborating institutions:

Funding: ACIAR, 2020-2021


GFAR researchers involved in this project:

Tagged in Projects:International development, Completed projects