Milk Dairy Industry

By Siddiqui, Mujib | Economic Review, October 1994 | Go to article overview

Milk Dairy Industry


Siddiqui, Mujib, Economic Review


Dairy plants in Pakistan had a poor history of success. In past pasteurized milk faced tremendous market pressures from raw milk mostly adulterated and sold at lower prices. However, the present situation of availability of milk in urban centers has increased the acceptability of UHT treated milk but the main problem of supply of milk to the various dairy plants is the biggest impediment in the growth of dairy industry.

It was in 1988 an agricultural expert from Netherlands visiting Pakistan remarked that "Pakistan is not only capable to meet its milk and meat requirements but also capable of exporting a substantial quantity of livestock products to other countries as well". In the present scenario this statement seems to be a highly exaggerated wishful thinking but if seen with the background of resources we have, the above statement seems true and rational. According to the estimates, the population of dairy animals and milk production provide us the following picture.

                                       Milk
                           Buf-     Produc-
             Cattle      faloes        tion
Year        Million     Million        Tons

1992-93        17.9        18.7        17.1

Out of the total milk production 17.1 million tonnes, 75 per cent is produced by buffaloes, 13 per cent by cows, and 12 per cent by sheep and goat. The above figures clearly shows that the net availability of milk is more than 300 GM per person daily but this is subject to wide errors as losses in yields and marketing are not sufficiently known. However, the national livestock authorities generally agree that Pakistan is traditionally a high milk consuming country.

Despite the rosy picture depicted above, our dairy industry is still passing through primitive stage. The irony of fate is that less than 1-1/2 per cent of our total milk production is being used by "Dairy processing industry". This clearly shows that our main problem in "Dairy sector" is not the production but actually channelizing the milk production with consumer market through dairy plants. Most of our plants working in private sector are running under capacity or working partially. The state of affair of milk plants in Pakistan is in table:-

Product            No. of
                   Plants   Capacity                  Remarks

UHT                    18   More than 2.5 million     only 9 plants are
                            lit., of milk/day         functioning with
                                                      output of 40 M. lt.

Pasteurized Milk        3   45K lit/day               of milk/day. 2
                                                      operating 1 partly

Milk Powder             3   13.7 tonnes daily         only working on
                                                      66% capacity

Cheese                  1   2500 thousand KG daily    partly working

Butter                  2   300 thousand KG daily     partly working

Yogurt                  2   4400 thousand KG daily    partly working

Ice Cream               4   4500 thousand KG daily    2 operational

Plants closed           8   of varying capacity       2 partly working

Dairy plants in Pakistan had a poor history of success. In past pasteurized milk faced tremendous market pressures from raw milk mostly adulterated and sold at lower prices. However, the present situation of availability of milk in urban centers has increased the acceptability of UHT treated milk but the main problem of supply of milk to the various dairy plants is the biggest impediment in the growth of dairy industry,

The rapid urbanization and increased demand of milk in cities made it expedient to import milk powder. The import of milk powder commenced in 1973 and increased manifold as its demand in urban centers increased. The following figure provide us an idea of milk powder imports since 1973.

                  Total
                Imports        Value
Year        (Mln. … 

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