Per capita milk consumption in Pakistan reached 231 liters (231 Kg) in 2019, according to a new research report entitled ‘Asia – Whole Fresh Milk – Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights’. It has almost doubled from 119 liters per person in 2011. Milk production in Pakistan is the second highest in Asia and the third highest in the world. Per capita milk consumption of 231 kg in Pakistan is the third highest in Asia, behind Uzbekistan's 339 Kg and Turkey's 281 Kg, according to the IndexBox report.
|Top Milk Producing Countries. Source: FAO|
Pakistan produced 47 million tons of milk in 2019, the third largest in the world after top-ranked India's 198 million tons and the United States' 100 million tons. Pakistan’s milk production is projected to increase by an average of 3% a year due to an increase in the herd population. According to FAO projections, Asian production is expected to increase by 2% in 2020 due to expected growth in India, Pakistan, and China, while Turkey may experience a decline.
In value terms, India ($146.8B) led the market, alone. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Pakistan ($37.3B). It was followed by China.
|Milk Production Growth in Pakistan|
Milk consumption in Pakistan in 2019 was 231 Kg per capita. It has grown an average of 3.2% a year in the last decade. From 2009 to 2019, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume in India totaled +5.4%. The remaining consuming countries recorded the following average annual rates of consumption growth: Pakistan (+3.2% per year) and China (-1.2% per year).
Pakistan Dairy Sector:
Vast majority of milk producers in Pakistan are small farmers who own a few cows or buffaloes and sell unprocessed milk. However, commercial scale dairy farming is starting to grow in the country. Since the year 2000, corporate sector has seen the potential and jumped in with brand names like Dawood's Engro and Nestle's MilkPak. This has led to the enlargement of herds with imports of high-quality milk germ plasm, the productivity per animal, milk collection, processing and marketing, the supply of dairy inputs (machinery, equipment, feeds, semen, and elite dairy animals), and farmers knowledge, and skills on modern management practices.
The size of the opportunity for selling dairy products in Pakistan has attracted significant investments from European giants like Nestle, FrieslandCampina and Unilever. Commercial dairy farms like JK Dairy.
Pakistan Agriculture Output:
As of 2016, Pakistan's agriculture output is $52.5 billion, the 10th largest in the world in terms of gross value of agricultural production at current prices, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO). China leads with $1.2 trillion in agricultural output, followed by India's $365 billion, United States with $329 billion, Brazil's $167 billion, Indonesia $135 billion, Japan's $91 billion, Russia's $69 billion, Turkey's $69 billion, France's $65 billion and Pakistan's $52 billion.
|Top 10 Countries by Agriculture Output. Source: FAO|
Pakistan is among the world's largest dairy producing and consuming nations. Pakistan produced 47 million tons of milk in 2019, the third largest in the world after top-ranked India's 198 million tons and the United States' 100 million tons. Per capita milk consumption in Pakistan reached 231 Kg in 2019. Pakistan’s milk production is projected to increase by an average of 3% a year due to an increase in the herd population. Vast majority of milk producers in Pakistan are small farmers who own a few cows or buffaloes and sell unprocessed milk. However, commercial scale dairy farming is starting to grow in the country. Overall, Pakistan's agriculture output is the 10th largest in the world.
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Thank you for sharing this news.
Pakistan on a steep trajectory for enhanced dairy and goat milk production. Milk consumption is the engine that drives many industries. It’s consumption is also a measure of quality of life and affluence.
Part of it is driven by industrialized demand for processed products by companies like Nestle. They are also investing in Hay production and high protein fodder crops and seeds.
And guess what? UC Davis is playing a significant role in it.i will share your link with UC Davis.
Rashid: "And guess what? UC Davis is playing a significant role in it.i will share your link with UC Davis."
Glad to hear UC Davis is helping, thanks to UC alums like you personally facilitating the relationship.
#Pakistan's #agriculture output is $52.5 billion, world's 10th largest . 1. #China: $1.2 trillion,2. #India's $365 billion, 3. #US's $329B, 4. Brazil's $167B, 5. #Indonesia $135B, 6. #Japan's $91B, 7. #Russia's $69B, 8. Turkey's $69B, 9. France's $65B.
As of 2016, Pakistan's agriculture output is $52.5 billion the 10th largest in the world in terms of gross value of agricultural production at current prices, according to Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
China leads with $1.2 trillion in agricultural output, followed by India's $365 billion, United States with $329 billion, Brazil's $167 billion, Indonesia $135 billion, Japan's $91 billion, Russia's $69 billion, Turkey's $69 billion, France's $65 billion and Pakistan's $52 billion.
Dear Sir Riaz
Thank you for sharing such useful information about the agricultural products of Pakistan. It is true that mashallah ,Pakistan is one of the largest producers of milk in the world. But Sir, according to my limited knowledge, hasn't the share or contribution of agricultural sector of Pakistan in the GDP(Gross Domestic Product) of the country has reduced ? As far as I remember ,the contribution or share of the agricultural sector of Pakistan in GDP(Gross Domestic Product) of the country was 21% before but now it has dropped to 18%.
Doesn't this shows that agricultural output of the country has reduced within last few years?
Sir, don't you think that a country like Pakistan which has huge land mass or size of land as compared to Turkey and France, should be having much more agricultural output instead of having just an agricultural output of worth US$ 52 billion? Pls note that Pakistan is the only country in the world which has largest cannal based irrigation system, we have 4 seasons , and during summer season, new crops are grown in the farms of Pakistan. So why inspite of having such great infrastructure of irrigation, and favorable climate and weather, still the agricultural output of Pakistan is only US$ 52 billion? Is water shortage the main reason for this?
What has the former political governments of Pakistan like PMLN and PPP done for agricultural sector of Pakistan ?
I hope my questions are clear
Ahmad: "As far as I remember ,the contribution or share of the agricultural sector of Pakistan in GDP(Gross Domestic Product) of the country was 21% before but now it has dropped to 18%"
It's normal for developing countries to have their share of agriculture GDP decline as other sectors of the economy grow. For example, agriculture in India accounts for just 16% of GDP. China's agriculture output is just 10% of GDP. In US, it's less than 5% of GDP.
Pakistan produced in 2018:
67.1 million tons of sugarcane/ 5 million tons of sugar (5th largest producer in the world, behind Brazil, India, China and Thailand);
25.0 million tons of wheat (7th largest producer in the world);
10.8 million tons of rice (10th largest producer in the world);
6.3 million tons of maize (20th largest producer in the world);
4.8 million tons of cotton (5th largest producer in the world);
4.6 million tonnes of potato (18th largest producer in the world);
2.3 million tonnes of mango (including mangosteen and guava) (5th largest producer in the world, only behind India, China, Thailand and Indonesia);
2.1 million tons of onion (6th largest producer in the world);
1.6 million tons of orange (12th largest producer in the world);
593 thousand tons of tangerine;
550 thousand tons of tomatoes;
545 thousand tons of apple;
540 thousand tons of watermelon;
501 thousand tons of carrot;
471 thousand tons of date (6th largest producer in the world);
Pakistan to benefit from China's high-yield seed development technology: PM
Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan has said that his country will follow China's footsteps in the field of agriculture and get benefit from China's high-yield seed development technology.
Addressing a ceremony to give away "farmer card" to farmers in the country's east Punjab province on Monday, the prime minister said that his government had taken an important step to make the agricultural sector a vital part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to uplift the sector and lives of the farmers.
He said that Pakistan's own research institutions on seed development will also be revamped to produce good quality seeds at home.
He said that unlike China, Pakistani farmers are still using old techniques of agriculture, which needs a major transformation, and with the government's efforts, the farmers will gradually shift to modern agricultural modes.
Khan said that under the "farmer card," the local farmers will get subsidized fertilizers, seeds and pesticides besides low-interest loans and compensation for damaged crops in case of any natural calamity. Enditem
Speaking at a Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry webinar in December, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Husain stressed the importance of looking beyond the textile sector and diversifying Pakistan’s exports. Otherwise, he warned, we will remain “stuck” at 25 to 30 billion dollars in exports per year.
“If we can capture just one percent of the Chinese market by providing components, raw materials [and] intermediate goods to the Chinese supply chain,” he had said, “we can get 23 billion dollars in exports to China, which is very favourably inclined towards Pakistan...”
From the looks of it, others were on the same page as Husain. Last month, it was reported by China Economic Net (CEN) that China will import dairy products from Pakistan. The Commercial Counsellor at the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing, Badar uz Zaman, told CEN that Pakistan got this opportunity due to its high quality dairy products, available at a low price.
Pakistan is the fourth largest milk producer globally, Zaman pointed out.
Indeed, the country’s dairy industry has great potential and can prove to be ‘white gold’ for Pakistan. Unfortunately, the sector is currently struggling due to various reasons but, if its export potential is realised, it can transform not only the sector itself but Pakistan’s economy as well.
According to the Food and Agriculture Organisation at the United Nations, in the last three decades, global milk production has increased by more than 59 percent, from 530 million tonnes in 1998 to 843 million tonnes in 2018.
This rise in global milk consumption is an opportunity for countries such as Pakistan to earn foreign exchange by exporting milk and dairy products to countries which have insufficient milk production. According to a Pakistan Dairy Association estimate, with support from the government, Pakistan can earn up to 30 billion dollars from exports of only dairy products and milk.
Unfortunately, this potential is being wasted. As per statistics provided by the Pakistan Dairy Association, livestock and dairy currently make up approximately only 3.1 percent of Pakistan’s total exports; which would mean about a mere 0.68 billion dollars in FY2020.
Improving milk production and its marketing in rural Sindh, Pakistan
SAGP (World Bank funded Sindh Agricultural Growth Project) established 484 livestock management training departments for its beneficiaries, which included both farmers and members of government institutions in charge of trainings, and the project rehabilitated 121 veterinary units.
To date, approximately 5753 farmers have benefited from livestock management trainings. The 203 Livestock Department staff equipped to deliver trainings will continue to provide extension services during field visits for vaccination and treatments to villages. Moreover, over 100 farmers and the staff of the Livestock Department were trained to implement artificial insemination to contribute to the breed improvement program, and utrasound training was offered to 76 beneficiaries. 18 beneficiaries beneficiaries have had the opportunity to visit state-of-the-art livestock training centers overseas: to Zimbabwe to observe Holistic Land and Livestock Management design and implementation; to Turkey to learn Dairy Farming practices, Dairy Machinery preparation factories; camel farming in the UAE; and Kenya's established dairy value chain.
SAGP has helped in rescuing the unique traits of the two main breeds of the cows found in Tharparkar district. One is 'Thari' and the other is 'Concrej.' Regarding this matter, Dr. Ashok Kumar said, "Tharkparkar cattle is losing its original traits by crossing with other breeds. Now we have promoted it through Artificial Insemination."
An Artificial Insemination Training Center at Tandojam is making a difference in restoring the original traits of Sindh's native breeds. Dr. Abdullah Sethar, deputy director, said, "This Artificial Insemination Center was developed in August 2019. We started offering Artificial Insemination training here. We have already trained 762 families, veterinarians, paramedics, and breeders in this center."
Trainings have also helped improved milk production. Previously, cows produced around 4.1 liters of milk and buffaloes produced 5.2 liters. By following the best practices learnt during various trainings, farmers increased the production of milk to 5.1 and 6.9 liters, respectively.
Beneficiary Abdul Aleem Soomro commented on how adopting new techniques resulted in a high milk yield. He said, "Our local cows had low milk yield. A practical demonstration was given to us and we changed our ways of breeding livestock. This has already started creating noticeable results."
Creating more jobs
The project not only strengthened milk production and its supply chain in the Rural Sindh, but also benefitted people in other ways, by creating jobs in other sectors.
5753 MPG members were able to upgrade their skills through three trainings. Additionally, 40 milk sell points were established by MPG members, with each outlet staffed by three farmers from the center's local village. Each milk outlet has provided employment opportunities to the local village, as 149 milk technicians are employed to collect and dispatch milk across these MPG collection centers.
FrieslandCampina Engro #Pakistan launches Pakistan–#Netherlands Dairy Development Centre at University of Veterinary and Animal Science in #Lahore. Pakistan's #dairy sector is the 4th largest in the world. #DairyMilk #livestock https://www.dairyreporter.com/Article/2022/02/07/frieslandcampina-engro-pakistan-launches-dairy-development-centre#.YgE8szkss4s.twitter
Our total consumption of wheat and atta is about 125kg per capita per year. Our per person per day calorie intake has risen from about 2,078 in 1949-50 to 2,400 in 2001-02 and 2,580 in 2020-21
By Riaz Riazuddin former deputy governor of the State Bank of Pakistan.
As households move to upper-income brackets, the share of spending on food consumption falls. This is known as Engel’s law. Empirical proof of this relationship is visible in the falling share of food from about 48pc in 2001-02 for the average household. This is an obvious indication that the real incomes of households have risen steadily since then, and inflation has not eaten up the entire rise in nominal incomes. Inflation seldom outpaces the rise in nominal incomes.
Coming back to eating habits, our main food spending is on milk. Of the total spending on food, about 25pc was spent on milk (fresh, packed and dry) in 2018-19, up from nearly 17pc in 2001-01. This is a good sign as milk is the most nourishing of all food items. This behaviour (largest spending on milk) holds worldwide. The direct consumption of milk by our households was about seven kilograms per month, or 84kg per year. Total milk consumption per capita is much higher because we also eat ice cream, halwa, jalebi, gulab jamun and whatnot bought from the market. The milk used in them is consumed indirectly. Our total per person per year consumption of milk was 168kg in 2018-19. This has risen from about 150kg in 2000-01. It was 107kg in 1949-50 showing considerable improvement since then.
Since milk is the single largest contributor in expenditure, its contribution to inflation should be very high. Thanks to milk price behaviour, it is seldom in the news as opposed to sugar and wheat, whose price trend, besides hurting the poor is also exploited for gaining political mileage. According to PBS, milk prices have risen from Rs82.50 per litre in October 2018 to Rs104.32 in October 2021. This is a three-year rise of 26.4pc, or per annum rise of 8.1pc. Another blessing related to milk is that the year-to-year variation in its prices is much lower than that of other food items. The three-year rise in CPI is about 30pc, or an average of 9.7pc per year till last month. Clearly, milk prices have contributed to containing inflation to a single digit during this period.
Next to milk is wheat and atta which constitute about 11.2pc of the monthly food expenditure — less than half of milk. Wheat and atta are our staple food and their direct consumption by the average household is 7kg per capita (84kg per capita per year). As we also eat naan from the tandoors, bread from bakeries etc, our indirect consumption of wheat and atta is 41kg per capita. Our total consumption of wheat and atta is about 125kg per capita per year. Our per person per day calorie intake has risen from about 2,078 in 1949-50 to 2,400 in 2001-02 and 2,580 in 2020-21. The per capita per day protein intake in grams increased from 63 to 67 to about 75 during these years. Does this indicate better health? To answer this, let us look at how we devour ghee and sugar. Also remember that each person requires a minimum of 2,100 calories and 60g of protein per day.
Undoubtedly, ghee, cooking oil and sugar have a special place in our culture. We are familiar with Urdu idioms mentioning ghee and shakkar. Two relate to our eating habits. We greet good news by saying ‘Aap kay munh may ghee shakkar’, which literally means that may your mouth be filled with ghee and sugar. We envy the fortune of others by saying ‘Panchon oonglian ghee mei’ (all five fingers immersed in ghee, or having the best of both worlds). These sayings reflect not only our eating trends, but also the inflation burden of the rising prices of these three items — ghee, cooking oil and sugar. Recall any wedding dinner. Ghee is floating in our plates.
Pakistan Economic Survey: Health & Nutrition 2021-22
Infant Mortality Rate (IMR) in Pakistan has declined to 54.2 deaths per 1,000 live births
in 2020 from 55.7 in 2019, while Neonatal Mortality Rate declined to 40.4 deaths per
1,000 live births in 2020 from 41.2 in 2019. Percentage of birth attended by skilled
health personnel increased to 69.3 percent in 2020 from 68 percent in 2019 (DHS & UNICEF). Maternal Mortality Ratio fell to 186 maternal deaths per 100,000 births in
2020, from 189 in 2019 (Table 11.1).
With a population growing at 2 percent per annum, Pakistan’s contraceptive prevalence
rate in 2020 decreased to 33 percent from 34 percent in 2019 (Trading Economics).
Pakistan’s tuberculosis incidence is 259 per 100,000 population and HIV prevalence rate
is 0.12 per 1,000 population in 2020.
Table 11.1: Health Indicators of Pakistan
Maternal Mortality Ratio (Per 100,000 Births)* 189 186
Neonatal Mortality Rate (Per 1,000 Live Births) 41.2 40.4
Mortality Rate, Infant (Per 1,000 Live Births) 55.7 54.2
Under-5 Mortality Rate (Per 1,000) 67.3 65.2
Incidence of Tuberculosis (Per 100,000 People) 263 259
Incidence of HIV (Per 1,000 Uninfected Population) 0.12 0.12
Life Expectancy at Birth, (Years) 67.3 67.4
Births Attended By Skilled Health Staff (% of Total)** 68.0 (2015) 69.3 (2018)
Contraceptive Prevalence, Any Methods (% of Women Ages 15-49) 34.0 33
Source: WDI, UNICEF, Trading Economics & Our World in data
Food and nutrition
Calories/day 2019-20 2457 2020-21 2786 2021-22 2735
Table 11.9: Availability of Major Food Items per annum (Kg per capita)
Food Items 2019-20 2020-21 2021-22 (P)**
Cereals 139.9 170.8 164.7
Pulses 7.8 7.6 7.3
Sugar 23.3 28.5 28.3
Milk (Liter) 168.7 171.8 168.8
Meat (Beef, Mutton, Chicken) 22.0 22.9 22.5
Fish 2.9 2.9 2.9
Eggs (Dozen) 7.9 8.2 8.1
Edible Oil/ Ghee 14.8 15.1 14.5
Fruits & Vegetables 53.6 52.4 68.3
Calories/day 2457 2786 2735
Source: M/o PD&SI (Nutrition Section)
Japanese dairy giant looks to enhance stake in Pakistan's NutriCo Morinaga for $56.6mn
Japanese dairy giant Morinaga Milk Industry has sent a conditional offer to ICI Pakistan to acquire an aggregate of approximately 33.3% of the issued and paid-up share capital of NutriCo Morinaga (Private) Limited (NMPL), a subsidiary of ICI Pakistan, from NMPL's existing shareholders including that of ICI Pakistan.
The acquisition is set at an aggregate price of $56.6 million which translates to approximately $2.07/- per share, said ICI Pakistan in its notice sent to the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) on Thursday.
NMPL was a joint venture between ICI Pakistan, Morinaga Milk and Unibrands (Private) Limited to locally manufacture and distribute nutritional formula products, and was recently merged with NutriCo Pakistan (Private) Limited, which was involved in the import and distribution of select products of Morinaga Milk.
The notice read that the Board of Directors of ICI Pakistan has granted an in-principle approval to ICI Pakistan to move forward with the proposed sale/ divestment of 26.5% of its shareholding in NMPL (i.e. partial divestment) to Morinaga Milk, subject to, inter alia, valuation of NMPL and the finalization of definitive agreements, to be presented to the Board of Directors for formal/final approval, if deemed fit by the Board.
ICI Pakistan has also been authorized to enter into a memorandum of understanding for the proposed transaction.
“The offer from Morinaga Milk is a testament to Morinaga Milk's confidence in the Pakistan market and the potential of NMPL to grow and cater to the growing nutritional needs of the children of Pakistan,” read the notice.
“As the owners of the ‘Morinaga' brand, know-how to manufacture the products along with its superior research & development facilities, Morinaga Milk is well-equipped to accelerate the growth of NMPL with the support of ICI Pakistan as a continuing joint venture partner (which shall continue to hold approximately 24.5% of the share capital of NMPL upon the completion of the proposed transaction),” it said.
Moreover, Moringa Milk Industry in its filing to the Tokyo Stock Exchange on Thursday said that the company has been exporting infant and toddler milk to Pakistan since 1978 and sees the South Asian country as an attractive market, boasting the fifth-largest population in the world, with continuing population growth forecast.
“Moreover, the Morinaga Milk Industry brand has gained broad recognition in Pakistan over many years through the export business, giving the Company a high chance of achieving further rapid growth in the Pakistan market.
“By acquiring management control over NutriCo Morinaga ... the company considers that it will be able to capture growth opportunities, leading to the further development of the Morinaga Milk Industry brand infant and toddler milk business in Pakistan and contributing to the growth and health of the consumers of the Company products,” it said.
Back in 2020, NutriCo Morinaga (Private) Limited commenced commercial operations of growing-up formula products at its manufacturing facility in Sheikhupura, Punjab.
At a cost of Rs5.5 billion, the manufacturing facility was the first asset investment by a global Japanese dairy and food company in Pakistan.
"Milk has the potential to be a $30 billion industry if it is organised"
Published in Nov-Dec 2022 Zeenat Chaudhary
Interview with Awais Bin Nasim, Managing Director, Tetra Pak Pakistan
ZEENAT CHAUDHARY: When was Tetra Pak established in Pakistan?
AWAIS BIN NASIM: Tetra Pak, headquartered in Sweden, is one of three companies owned by the Tetra Laval Group. About 40 years ago, Syed Babar Ali brought it to Pakistan as a joint venture with Packages Limited. Today, our customers include most of the major local dairy and juice producers like FrieslandCampina, Haleeb Foods, Nestlé, Shakarganj and Shezan International.
ZC: What material is used to make Tetra Pak’s packaging?
ABN: The main material (70% of it) used in Tetra Pak packaging is paperboard (which is made from wood pulp and provides stability and smoothness to the printing surface), aluminium foil (protects against oxygen and light to maintain the nutritional value and flavours of the contents in ambient temperatures) and polyethene (protects against moisture and enables the paperboard to stick to the aluminium foil). All of the raw material is imported from suppliers in Sweden and Brazil that are Forest Stewardship Council certified (a non-profit that promotes responsible management of the world’s forests).
ZC: Are Tetra Pak’s carton components recyclable?
ABN: We are able to recycle 100% of our carton components, including aluminium and plastic. Seventy percent of the packaging is made from long, strong recyclable fibres. In Pakistan, we work with Green Earth Recycling to recycle 42% of our annual production (27,000 tons of cartons) into furniture, waste bins, playground swings and other items. We are even turning the cartons into corrugated roofing for use in parking lots, animal sheds and stadiums, as they also lower the temperature by two to three degrees. Globally, we operate school feeding programmes and try to provide underprivileged children with free milk every day. This activity does not exist in Pakistan, but we are working with the government to find a mechanism to do so.
ZC: What makes Tetra Pak’s packaging, for milk in particular, stand out?
ABN: Tetra Pak packaging consists of six layers. The idea is to be able to package milk so that it can be made available for longer and to a larger number of people while remaining fresh, nutritious and free from adulteration and without using chemicals or preservatives. We provide our clients with Ultra High Temperature (UHT) treatment equipment, which they use at their plants to destroy the micro-organisms present in raw milk, while maintaining the milk’s nutritional integrity, making the end product suitable for distribution and consumption.
ZC: Are milk and juices packaged at Tetra Pak plants?
ABN: All products are packed at our customers’ plants. After manufacturing, we send them the packaging and we supply milk producers with UHT equipment.
ZC: What does UHT treatment entail?
ABN: When raw milk is produced, it needs to be preserved by killing most of the bacteria – this is done by flash boiling it at approximately 139 degrees centigrade for two to three seconds. The remaining bacteria become inactive/ dormant because the packaging prevents light and air from affecting the product, resulting in a shelf life of between six and eight months. Once a carton is opened, allowing light and air to enter, the bacteria become active, hence the need for refrigeration. UHT-treated milk requires a cold chain management process (once the milk is produced, it must immediately be stored at four degrees centigrade, otherwise the bacteria start multiplying). We are the only player in Pakistan to have a cold chain process.
"Milk has the potential to be a $30 billion industry if it is organised"
ZC: Doesn’t that result in a lot of milk being wasted nationwide?
ABN: Yes. Pakistan is among the top four largest milk producers in the world, but over 26% of this milk is wasted, due to storage issues, even before it reaches commercial entities. We also have the lowest milk yields in the world – we produce about seven to eight litres of milk per day per animal, whereas the world average is about 39 litres per day. We are far behind the optimum milk production level required.
ZC: What are the reasons for the high wastage and low yield?
ABN: There are a lot of contributing factors to wastage. For one, inefficient farming practices and poor farming infrastructure. Small-scale farmers especially are unaware that milk does not have a shelf life unless chilled immediately. Some dairy companies have set up milk collection centres where farmers can bring their milk for basic processing, chilling and transportation, but they need a method to preserve the milk during the travel time from the farm to the collection centre. Sometimes farmers add ice to the milk, causing adulteration. A major change is required in terms of infrastructure to preserve the quality of the milk supplied by farmers. There is also the need for government regulatory frameworks and policies. For example, India has a minimum pasteurisation law (milk must be heated at a certain temperature before it is sold for consumption) and this has resulted in the country’s milk producers converting to septic cardboard packaging, due to its shelf life and durability. Pakistan is probably the only country among the top 10 or 15 milk producers in the world which does not have a minimum pasteurisation law. The Punjab Government passed a minimum pasteurisation law in 2018, whereby loose milk would no longer be available by 2023, but nothing has been done so far. The low milk yield is due to an inbred gene pool of livestock, which results in lower production of milk (along with higher mortality rates and hereditary abnormalities). Moreover, the quality of the feed/ fodder is either low-quality or too costly. A lot of the time, farmers resort to letting their livestock free graze, resulting in them consuming toxins and other harmful substances.
ZC: Have the recent floods aggravated the situation?
ABN: Almost 33% of the population has been impacted and about 800,000 animals have been lost, which will have a significant impact. Loose milk prices have increased from Rs 120 and 130 per kilo to Rs 180 and 190 in Karachi. We are slightly lucky that the areas affected were not major dairy areas for encashment. It would have been more catastrophic if central or north Punjab were hit. The overall recovery will be difficult, but we can take this as an opportunity to start from scratch and improve the dairy/ livestock sector. This can be done by importing animals of certain breeds, investing in artificial insemination and teaching good farming practices.
ZC: What is the solution in terms of best farming practices?
ABN: Ten years ago, Tetra Pak conducted a CSR activity called ‘Dairy Hub’, where we introduced best farming practices to dairy farmers and trained them on the basic hygiene an animal requires, how to keep them hydrated, and how to clean their spaces. With these simple changes, we were able to improve their milk yields by 20 to 25%. However, a company can only give a certain level of support. It is a question of awareness at a national level. Similar to how awareness and information about wearing masks and getting vaccinated was disseminated during Covid-19, that is the scale of the intervention that is required. The milk industry has the potential to be a $30 billion industry if it is organised.
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