Dec 03 - 09, 2007

Livestock is no doubt an important sector of agriculture. Pakistan is the fourth largest milk producing country of the world. Livestock accounts for 39 percent of agricultural value addition and about 9.4 percent of the national GDP. Its net foreign exchange earnings in 2001-02 amounted to $51.5 billions, which was 12.3 percent of the overall earnings of the country.

About 35 million people are engaged in raising 2 3 cattle/buffaloes and 5 to 6 sheep/goats in their backyard and are deriving 20 to 25 percent income from this source. Livestock includes cattle, buffaloes, cows, sheep, goats, horses, asses and mules. Of about 125 million livestock in the country, 50 percent are large ruminants (cattle and buffaloes) and 50 percent are small ruminants i.e. sheep and goats. The growth rate of livestock in F. Y. 2007 is 4.3 percent..

Punjab and Sindh are two major livestock holders at the rate of 52 percent and 26 percent respectively. This area is suitable for dairy farming and possess a lot of potential for its further growth and multiplication.

Estimatedly total production of milk a year is 32 billion litres. This makes its value even higher than the combined value of wheat and cotton. Pakistan has fixed a target to achieve 64 billion litres of milk production by 2015. Dairy industry is working together to boost the sector to create job opportunities, to raise safety standards and poverty alleviation. A number of initiatives are underway including milk collection and chilling projects. Chairman Dairy Pakistan stated that they are working on safety standards, research work in dairy sector and strategy development by assessing and evaluating the economic significance of the sector for contribution to GDP, employment and as a vehicle to alleviate poverty especially in the rural areas.

Pakistan's dairy industry is infested with a number of low productivity problems because of poor nutrition, a weak infrastructure, lack of resources and easy and ready availability to the poor and uneducated population. Small farmers sell milk as they have no other source of income to cater to their basic needs.

The unprocessed milk passes through the middleman before it reaches the retailers in cities and towns. The price of milk per litre goes on increasing @ one rupee per litre at every stage of sale. Only 3-4 percent of the total milk is processed and marketed, whereas the remaining 97 percent of the milk is used for immediate consumption through our distribution system of middlemen.

It is observed that farmers receive only Rs.10.74 per litre and ultimate consumers pay Rs.18 to Rs.28 per litre. Collecting milk from a large number of subsistence farmers is a well nigh lengthy and time consuming exercise. It is also prone to contamination and adulteration. Haleeb Food Limited, processor and distributor of packed milk in urban areas, does not provide any technical or other assistance to farmers. However, at farm and village level, the technology so far developed and used is the milk testing units, which are available with the agents.

Pakistan after paying minimum heed to the dairy sector for a long time in the past, has now realized its real importance and has taken a number of initiatives to uplift this sector. For this purpose, the Government of Pakistan has formed National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) and Livestock & Dairy Development Board (LDDS). At the same time the Ministry of Industries, Production & Special Initiatives has established a Strategy Working Group (SWOG) for evolving a strategy and suggesting institutional arrangements for promoting dairy sector in the country. The U.N.O.'s FAO Technical Assistance is also available to enhance livestock and dairy sub-sector. The value of this assistance is US$1.99 million.

The average milk production per animal is 8.5 litres per day, which on an average comes to 6.5 litres per day on yearly basis, coming to 2366 litres in a year, amounting to Rs.47,320/- per annum. The major share of production of milk is from buffaloes, that is 66 percent and cows 32 percent and sheep and goats about 2 percent.


The Government has planned to establish 25 livestock community centers in the area of Cholistan in the province of Punjab at a cost of Rs.960 million. Managing Director, Mohsan Ahsan of Cholistan Development Authority, in an interview, disclosed to the media that Cholistan has been a traditional breeding area for livestock and thus this area can usefully be used for cattle farming and herds. Besides the aforementioned 25 livestock community centers, 3 veterinary hospitals will be constructed for safeguarding the health of animals. Seventeen mobile veterinary dispensaries will also be established. These arrangements are meant to facilitate maximum production of milk. The plan also envisions transportation of milk keeping in view the sanitary and hygienic conditions. Five milk storage centers will be set up under the plan and five feed mills for producing and providing healthy feed for the livestock.


Milk production by the year, 2015 would touch 40 billion litres. The Government has approved, in principle, a project under the name: Dhood Daryia (River of Milk) in the country aiming at enhancing production of milk from 33.6 billion litres to 40 billion litres by 2015 at a cost of Rs.2.655 billion. To achieve that target, 2440 model farms are planned to be set up to develop and demonstrate best practices of farm management by raising production level up to 30 percent. Responsible officials of the Ministry of Industries, Production and Special Incentives stated that 336 farms, cooling tanks and mobile milk collection units will be provided to preserve highly perishable milk.

A Farm Management and Dairy Research Institute will also be established including a semen research center, which will have significant impact. This center will also be supported by vocational training facilities for dairy technicians. Under the plan 700 farm input stores will also be set up to provide quality nutritional products at economical prices to 6000 villages.

Model farms will be introduced to enhance farm management techniques and improve productivity levels. Similarly, the boosting of the cold chain will improve the life of the perishable milk. These value added lifestyle enhancing dairy brands currently constitute about 40 percent of the dairy market, which would optimistically cross 65 percent in the next eight years and will attract foreign investment considerably and reduce import of milk products, thus saving a handsome foreign exchange.


A product group, which is expected to show strong growth in future, is cheese. Cheese is a highly nutritious milk product with high consumer appeal. It will lead to increasing demand for cheese products with the increasing economy. Amongst the fermented products, market of yogurt will also increase considerably. To popularize the products such as cheese and other fermented products, butter, milk, powdered and packed ghee besides traditional sweets internationally, Pakistan dairy industry should set quality standards of its products to match the products available in the consumer market of the Gulf.

Pakistan has huge potentials in Punjab, NWFP and Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

Special incentives should be provided to facilitate cattle/dairy farming, quality production, setting up of corporate dairy farms and giving special tax incentives for setting up processing units in earthquake affected areas of A&JK and NWFP for providing means of livelihood and increase milk supply, duly processed and packed.