Call to revive troubled dairy industry

Islamabad—Chairman of the United International Group Mian Shahid on Sunday asked the government to take steps to revive dairy industry which is facing problems due to increased cost of inputs.

Additional cost of inputs has pushed the vibrant dairy sector into crisis as the cost of doing business has increased by seven percent, he said.Mian Shahid said that local and foreign investors have invested around 700 million dollars in the dairy sector in last five years which is being reduced due to lack of interest.

He said that government has reduced duty on import of milk from Saarc countries to 15 percent while India has slapped 68 percent duty on import of milk powder to safeguard its industry.

Pakistan is the third largest milk produced in the world producing around 55 million tonnes of milk, production in increasing by 4 pc per annum while demand in increasing by 15 percent annually.
Pakistan exports skimmed and fresh mils while it also imports 40 thousand tonnes of milk, mainly from India, which is equal to 3,20,000 tonnes of fresh milk.

The global milk demand is set to increase by 36 percent in nine years which can be an opportunity for Pakistan, he said, adding that the situation demands patronage by the government as despite 7.5 crore animals average milk production is 4-5 litres per animal which is 30-40 litres in developed nations.

He demanded 100 percent duty on import of skimmed milk and dairy products to safeguard interests of 40 million dairy farmers in the informal sector and otherwise this business will not remain viable.

Source:  Published in Pakistan Observer