Cooperation between China and Pakistan in the dairy industry has opened avenues for Islamabad to tap Beijing’s expansive market for high-quality dairy products.
“Pakistan is the third largest milk producer, but it is still far behind in the adaptation of latest technologies to increase milk production and improve its value-added products to meet the local and international market demand,” pointed out Dr Mansoor Ahmad, former director general of livestock & dairy development department, Punjab.
Talking to WealthPK, he explained, “A major challenge facing dairy farmers is the low milking output of their livestock. Moreover, the milk is of poor quality and unsafe. This lack of access to high-quality milk is the result of unplanned and uncontrolled urbanisation, a decline in the number of healthy animals, and high operating costs.”
He said 95% of milk in Pakistan was sold unprocessed, and the remaining 5% was pasteurised and packed following industry-mandated quality control and assurance tests. “Additionally, farmers consume between 30% and 40% of milk due to a lack of a supply chain to get their produce to the market, thus wasting huge amounts.”
Ahmad pointed out that China and Pakistan were collaborating in different fields of agriculture, particularly in breeding of high milk-yielding cows. “This cooperation aims to enhance the dairy industry in Pakistan by introducing and breeding superior breeds of cows known for their high milk production capabilities.”
“Under this collaboration, China shares its expertise in advanced breeding techniques, animal husbandry practices, and genetic improvement of livestock. Chinese experts provide training to Pakistani farmers and professionals to enhance their knowledge and skills in dairy farming.”
According to WealthPK research, China has also permitted the import of Pakistani dairy items, which meet specified criteria. The General Administration of Customs of China has recently announced updated inspection and quarantine requirements for imported Pakistani dairy products. This development aligns with the focus on agriculture and poverty alleviation in the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
Mansoor Ahmad said, “The recent approval granted by China for import of Pakistani dairy products signifies a crucial milestone in the longstanding collaboration between the two nations. Pakistani exporters are now permitted to ship a range of dairy items, including value-added products, to meet the growing demand in the expansive Chinese market.”
“The move holds immense economic potential for Pakistan. The export of dairy and meat products to China is projected to contribute significantly to the country's economic development. With China's large consumer base, Pakistani producers have the opportunity to capitalise on this vast market, potentially increasing revenue and foreign exchange earnings.”