President Donald Trump has expressed support for the Philippine Dairy Goat Development Program which will be launched in 2019 using the remaining P1.5-B of the Washington PL 480 loan granted by the U.S. Government.

I had the rare opportunity during the reception last night for world leaders attending the Gala Dinner tendered by President Rody Duterte to briefly inform Pres. Trump of the program.

“Mr. President, we are implementing a Dairy Goat Development using P1.5-B from your government,” I told Pres. Trump.

“Hows that?,” he asked.

I told him that the funds will be used to buy outstanding dairy goat breeding materials from American farmers to improve the dairy goat breeds in the Philippines.

I said it would help both American and Filipino farmers.

Upon hearing the explanation, President Trump said: “I love that! Let’s do it!”

Hearing the statement of support from no less than the US President himself, I am now convinced that the program will succeed.

Actually, before I discussed the dairy goat program with President Trump, I had briefed President Rody Duterte about it when we were in Vietnam.

The Dairy Goat Program and the request of Filipino coconut farmers to be able to market young green coconuts to the US were two of the concerns I asked President Duterte to take in his conversation with Pres. Trump.

The Dairy Goat Development Program involves the importation of some 8,000 dairy goats from the United States in 2019 in line with the goal of increasing Philippine milk production.

The importation of dairy goats from the US is part of the DA’s plan to ramp up local milk production to meet at least 10 percent of annual domestic requirement by 2022 and reduce the country’s reliance on imports.

Aside from importing dairy goats, the DA will also procure animals with superior genes from local breeders.

Enacted in 1954, the PL 480, which is also known as the Agricultural Trade Development and Assistance Act, mandates the US to use its agricultural productivity to enhance the food security of developing countries and the determination of the importing country’s capacity of improving its food security.

After the Gala Dinner, I met US Ambassador Sung Kim and informed him of Pres. Trump’s reaction to the program.

The US Ambassador pledged to personally be involved in the program.

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