Friday, 14 November 2014

Dairy sector: interactive session on Pak-Dutch opportunities held

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands hosted an interactive session on "Exploring Opportunities in the Dairy Sector: Avenues of Pak-Dutch Co-operation" here on Thursday in collaboration with the Dairy Training Centre and Solve AgriPak. Participants were from corporate dairy sector, academia, various government and skills development bodies and media.

Frans van Rijn, Charge d'Affaires of the Embassy said, "Pakistan is the third largest milk producing country in the world. However, its population is growing fast and so is the demand for dairy products. The sector will need to expand and modernize quickly to meet the growing demand. As a fellow dairy producing nation, the Netherlands can help Pakistan in this regard."

He added indeed it's a perfect match: the Dutch have the products, the expertise and the services needed by Pakistan to make this transition in the dairy sector. The Netherlands is a small country with less than 17 million people but it is the second biggest agricultural exporter in the world. The Dutch are known for their high-quality, high-intensity and high-sustainability agribusiness - especially in this field.

Anne Terpstra, a representative of Dairy Training Centre (DTC) spoke about how the right management and the right animals can increase profitability. "Managing dairy animals is the one of the most complex jobs in the world. Dairy farming professionals in Pakistan need to brush-up their practical skills in a way that they are able to communicate with their cows in order to identify issues in the farm management and provide corrective measures for enhanced productivity. With such good management, Dutch dairy animals in Pakistan can produce at the same high levels as they do in the Netherlands."

Terpstra has therefore been conducting five-day training on Applied Dairy Farm Management and has had the opportunity to visit some local farms around Lahore. He explained how the Dutch Holstein Frisian cows have been bred over generations to become the premier breed of cattle for high quality and high quantity dairy production. Such cattle could also fare very well in Pakistan.

Adil Shakeel, a representative of the Corporate Dairy Farmers Association, spoke about the opportunities present in the dairy sector and the need to enhance productivity and profitability through engaging with the Dutch who had cattle, technical expertise, products and services that could help the Pakistan dairy sector advance rapidly.

Answering questions from the audience, the panellists expressed their belief that engagements in the dairy sector would be lucrative for all parties involved and would increase the quality and quantity of milk production in Pakistan. Dutch Holstein Frisian cows have an average total life span five years and 10 months, which is the highest in the world and an average lifetime production 30,999 kg of milk per year with 2,443 kg fat and protein, which is also the highest in the world - characteristics the Pakistani dairy sector could attain with the right management and the right cattle.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2014

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