Modernisation of dairy sector in Pakistan can attract huge investment: WealthPK

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan can attract huge foreign investment by modernising its dairy sector and separating it from agriculture to allocate an adequate budget to it, WealthPK reports.
The dairy sector of Pakistan has the potential to meet the demand of the local as well as the international market if modern techniques are adopted to increase the production of milk and other items. Pakistan has the lowest retail market price of $0.64 per litre as compared to the rest of Asian countries.
Dr Adnan Ali, a dairy supply chain official at the Small and Medium Enterprises Development Authority, said that Pakistan is the fourth largest milk-producing country in the world. The country produced 61 million tonnes of milk in 2021. “The dairy sector has great potential for foreign investors,” he added.
He said that innovative and modern ways should be adopted to increase the production of milk which would help in curtailing its retail price. Improved feed formulation and maximum vaccination of cattle would help in increasing the production of milk in the country.
Dr Adnan said that dairy import declined in the country during the last five years. “In 2017, the dairy import was worth $182.19 million. It decreased to $85.27 million in 2021,” he added.
He said that the USA has the highest level of milk production, followed by France, Germany, UK, and the Netherland. Milk production in those developed countries is four to five times higher than Pakistan. He added that the USA produces 26.52 litres of milk per animal daily, France 24.71 litres, Germany 21.34 litres, UK 22.66 litres, and the Netherland 24.25 litres while Pakistan has only 5.48 litres per animal daily production of milk.
Dr Adnan said that India is also among the top milk-producing countries. India produces 196 million tonnes of milk annually, followed by the European Union with 167 million tonnes and the US with 99 million tonnes.
According to the World Food and Agriculture Organisation, global milk production was 522 million tonnes in 1987. It escalated to 838 million tonnes in 2018 and reached 928 million tonnes in 2021.
According to a report titled “What is holding back milk production potential in Pakistan” published by the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, research and development have been ignored in the country for seven decades, affecting negatively the dairy sector like others.
According to the report, the dairy sector in Pakistan still relies on traditional methods instead of adopting modern techniques. Genetic technology, vaccination and balanced feed can help in producing healthy animals with high milking yield.
The report says that milk yields cannot be increased without the involvement of genetic technology and the breeding of animals. Animals need sufficient green fodder to produce more milk but the existing fodder stock in Pakistan can’t fulfil the basic nutritional needs of livestock. It has created a permanent fodder shortage in the country, leading to an increase in its prices.
The report says that genetic innovation will help to increase milk yield three to four times in the country. The private sector should establish more milk collection centers in rural areas and import the best breeds of milking cows from Australia, New Zealand, Europe, and the USA to increase milk yield.
The report, available with WealthPK, suggests that milk processing companies in the country should focus on dairy items like whole milk powder, butter, cheese and skimmed milk powder.