Dairy farming is a most important part of the Livestock Sector in Pakistan. Milk is the biggest and single most important product in the livestock sector. But the dairy sector is not able to perform well even close to its potential in terms of revenue generation. Due to the lack of concentration, dairy farming should be seen in the general view of the livestock sector. In the agricultural economy of Pakistan, the production of cow and buffalo milk can be considered the least commercialized enterprise. Despite this, it is the single main product of the farming sector with approximately 160 billion rupees value in one year.
Reasons for Insufficient Dairy Production
It is observed that Pakistan is the seventh main milk producer in the world but we are obliged to import different milk powders to fulfil our daily needs. The system of milk collection and supply in the cities, even though commercially managed, is completely operated by the unconcerned sector. The processing, marketing and organized collection of milk, signify only 2 percent of the overall demand of the milk market of the cities. There are found many anomalies in the milk production and supply system, which have various negative effects on the economy overall. It leads to prolonged rural poverty, threats to national health and other environmental problems.
How to Improve Dairy Farming?
Food and Agriculture Organization has given warnings regarding the sector needs which should be more sustainable and competitive as it has huge potential. In this way, smallholder farmers can gain easy and greater access to markets and services. To develop successful dairy business models can help to increase dairy production.
The objective is to make a sector, which should be socially responsible and help to produce safe and healthy food. This sector will be able to use the natural resources more efficiently and lessen the impacts on the environment. Only by doing so, the sector will become more sustainable to benefit the future generations. Food and Agriculture Organization should remain committed to working with all investors to achieve a dairy sector that contributes to health and wealth in the world.
The Business of Dairy Farming in Pakistan
The dairy farming business is increasing every day to meet the growing needs of dairy products in Pakistan. The estimated cost to start a dairy farm business with 50 animals, mix of cows and buffalo, is 40 million rupees and the amount of 70 million rupees is required to make a dairy farm of 100 animals.
The normal milk production of each buffalo per day is about 12-14 litters for a small-scale dairy farm in Pakistan. The cost of the setup for each animal is about PKR 75 thousand to PKR 90 thousand. But, opening a dairy farm with less than 10 animals would not be much profitable.
Recommendations to Improve the Dairy Industry in Pakistan:
- The government should promote the dairy farming at the local level in such a way that young people want to adopt it as a good entrepreneurship opportunity.
- As production of milk is a fast-growing and very profitable business, different banks should finance the dairy farming setups at local level.
- The government should impose heavy duties tax on the import of skimmed milk powder and whey powder. In this way, more investors will attract to the dairy sector to enhance the production of dairy products overall.
- We should need to improve the genetics of our animals to meet the growing demands of the milk. Improved genetics will lead to higher production and better quality of the products.
- The government should take the initiative to improve the process of livestock genes. The government should be responsible to invest in the quality of local animals.