Are you interested in learning about the dairy industry in Pakistan? Have you heard about the introduction of Dutch dairy cattle to Pakistan? In this blog post, we’ll take a look at the impact these cows have had on the country’s dairy industry and how they are helping to modernize and improve it.
Introduction to Dutch Dairy Cattle in Pakistan
Pakistan has taken a major step forward in the dairy sector with the introduction of Dutch Heifers from CowEx – Cloud. These world-class dairy cattle provide an opportunity to boost the country’s growing dairy sector. The Government of Pakistan has adopted policies to facilitate the involvement of private sector in the Pakistani dairy chain. This will help share expertise between Dutch and Pakistani farming systems and support sustainable food production in the future.
Most of Pakistan’s dairy animals are found in Punjab and Sindh, which contribute 57% and 25% respectively. Five milk producing provinces including Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu Kashmir, Islamabad Capital Territory and Gilgit-Baltistan also have dairy farms. In August 2020, Flanders made an effort to connect Dutch farmers with those participating in Pakistan’s dairy industry.
Nutrient efficiency is a key factor for optimal performance in dairy farming. The Netherlands has some of the highest productivity growth in agricultural land within the European Union (EU). Dutch cows also have high animal welfare standards due to their use of animal manure.
Dairy farming plays an important role in providing food security for developing countries like Pakistan. It is estimated that 70% of livestock owners own fewer than five animals, making it difficult for them to access markets or benefit from economies of scale. With proper investment and policy support, these small-scale farmers can improve their livelihoods by expanding their operations and reaping greater benefits
History of the Dutch Dairy Cattle in Pakistan
Pakistan is increasingly relying on Dutch breeding cattle to meet their high demand for quality dairy products. For over 11 years, Arabian traders have been importing Indo-Pakistani zebu cattle from the Netherlands. This has been a major factor in the growth of the Pakistani dairy industry, which now boasts 8 million farming households and a total herd size of 50 million animals.
The majority of these farmers are not linked to formal markets, meaning that they are unable to access world-class Dutch dairy cattle. This presents a unique opportunity for them, as the Netherlands is renowned for producing some of the highest quality milk-producing cows in the world – such as their famous Holstein Friesian breeds. In addition, thousands of people living in rural Pakistan rely on livestock as a main source of income – providing an additional incentive for them to take advantage of this opportunity.
In order to ensure that Pakistani farmers can make the most out of this situation, many experts have been travelling from Turkey to Pakistan to offer training in advanced dairy farming practices. This has helped contribute towards an increase in cow milk production from 20.903 thousand tonnes in 2019/20 to 21.288 thousand tonnes in 2020/21 – a rise which further highlights the potential that Dutch cattle can have on Pakistan’s growing dairy sector.
Characteristics of Dutch Dairy Cattle
Dutch cows are known for their pliable non-pendulous udders, which are firmly attached with strong suspensory ligaments near the vulva region. This has enabled them to produce high levels of milk yield, leading to a genetic gain (In breeding value) of 1.8 after the first selection generation. In light of this, Ummah Dairy Farm in Pakistan is taking advantage of this opportunity by importing Dutch Heifers from CowEx – Cloud.
The success of specialised dairy farms depends on various farmer characteristics and farm strategies such as nutrient management and performance. The Netherlands excels in these areas and is renowned for its world-famous Dutch Holstein Friesian cows. These cows are horned and weigh around 500 kgs on average, with some rustic traits being maintained by European Holstein-Friesian cows such as Dutch and Irish strains. The average farm size of a Dutch dairy farm will increase from 101 to 139 dairy cows in the basic scenario. Additionally, Wageningen University & Research stands out as a leader in research related to dairy farming, making sure that only 11% of dairy farms make recordings in the Dutch National Recording system.
Benefits of Dutch Dairy Cattle for Pakistani Farmers
Pakistan’s dairy sector is experiencing exciting growth and development, with the introduction of world-class Dutch dairy cattle offering unique opportunities for trade, cooperation, and development between the two countries. The Environmental Controlled Housing (ECH) Dairy Farm is a new revolution in Pakistan’s dairy sector that will create analysis and sustainable socio-economic benefits. Additionally, a concerted effort from the Pakistan-NDDC to improve quality and productivity throughout the Pakistani dairy chain is underway. With public and private support for Dutch dairy farming practices, Pakistan is poised to take advantage of higher-producing American breeds through their adoption of intensive production practices.
Dairy farming has been deeply embedded in Pakistani rural life for generations, with milk being an integral part of the socio-economic fibre. Trade relaxation between the two countries will provide access to high standard Dutch cattle markets; as the Netherlands are seen as the cradle of modern dairy cattle breeding. The potential benefits include lower culling rates, leading to fewer replacements and thus a higher income; more fertile and healthier cows; higher fats and proteins in milk production; as well as improved production and longevity.
Challenges Faced by Pakistani Farmers in Raising Dutch Dairy Cattle
Pakistan is looking to import high-quality dairy cattle, mostly Holstein Friesian, from the Netherlands. This provides the country with a unique opportunity to develop its dairy industry. A recent study of 108 randomly selected Dutch dairy herds showed that a structural approach could improve cow-claw health on these farms. This move is also beneficial for farmers in Pakistan, as most of them are smallholders who keep mainly buffaloes intensively and semi-intensively for meat and dairy production. The proposed pre-feasibility also encourages farmers to increase milk production through modern farm management practices. In addition, the culling of older dairy cows is encouraged to provide beef and high-quality feeder cattle. The research results are available in a Dutch publication which promotes innovation in agriculture by providing insight into successful farming practices.
Cost and Price of Dutch Dairy Cattle
The Dutch Holstein Friesian cow has become a profitable choice for small scale and commercial farmers in Pakistan. This is due to the accessibility of world-class Dutch genetics from CowEx – Cloud, which is a leading supplier of dairy cattle in the country. However, the economic, environmental and social sustainability of Dutch dairy farms have come at the cost of lower welfare for dairy cows in the long term.
Research on 110 dairy cattle farms in the district of Sargodha, Pakistan indicated that while milk prices had a positive relationship with farm size, there was an increase in rates of lameness and laminitis. This suggests that pursuing higher yields comes at the cost of lower welfare for dairy cows in the long term. On average, a Dutch dairy farm will increase from 101 to 139 cows according to current projections.
Wageningen University & Research is actively involved with 19,000 member dairy farms both locally and abroad. This has created a ‘tense’ market due to an increasing gap between farmgate milk prices and live cattle prices within the country. Additionally, productivity of animals in Pakistan compared to other countries is relatively low as demonstrated by SWOT analysis for the Dairy Industry and various other projects throughout the sector.
Milk Production from the Dutch Breed in Pakistan
Pakistan’s demand for Dutch dairy cattle is growing due to the high-quality production of milk, fats and proteins they can provide. The average lifetime production of a Dutch Holstein Frisian cow is 30,999 kg of milk per year with 2.443 kg of fat and protein. To meet this increasing demand, Cloud Agri Pakistan (Pvt.) Ltd recently held a pre-launch event to introduce the breed to customers in Pakistan.
The Government of Pakistan has begun operations with 100 cows that are expected to produce 838,040 litres of milk in their first year. This will help contribute to the 65 million litres of cow and buffalo milk produced annually by Pakistani farmers. With the proper hygiene, nutrition and care, cows that produce more milk using less feed can help improve dairy farmers around the country’s bottom line.
To further support Pakistani dairy farmers, the Dutch agriculture sector has been providing breeding values based on their own system for livestock selection. This will help ensure that lower-yielding cows are not a part of Pakistan’s national production efforts. With this support from the Netherlands, Pakistani dairy farmers can look forward to higher yields and increased profitability for years to come.
Breeding Strategies for the Optimal Use of the Breed
Cattle production and breeding management in Asia is an important factor for dairy and food production. To maximize genetic potential, two main strategies can be employed: selective breeding within a breed and crossbreeding among different breeds. A great example of this is the Dutch-Friesian cattle breed, which has been bred to produce large amounts of milk due to its genetic potential. India is home to a vast array of livestock species and breeds, with some of the best cattle and buffaloes in the world. In Kenya, the most populous dairy cattle breed is found primarily in the country’s rural areas. Breeding schemes for dairy cattle are also being implemented in developing countries, with milk yield being a high priority trait. Crossbreeding can be used to create first crosses that are capable of producing more milk than pure-bred cows, making them an ideal choice for improving production levels. Proper classification of cattle breeds can aid our understanding of their genetic merits and enable us to choose the optimal strategy for increasing yields and improving overall productivity.
Availability and Accessibility to Veterinary Services for the Breed
The livestock sector in Pakistan is dominated by private farms and milk production, with water buffaloes, cattle, sheep, goats and poultry flocks maintained for research and production. The Farms Block has a well-equipped hatchery which provides poor farmers with better access to animal-health services. Veterinary Services play a key role in food safety and welfare, such as working animals and dairy cattle production. Cattle Breeders Associations are important for bovine health management, with the introduction of synthetic hormones for ES veterinary service and experts. The monthly cost of Extension and Veterinary Services is estimated at 130$. Competition from continuing public service veterinarians is a challenge in specialising into dairy farming.
Marketing Strategies Used by Farmers to Sell Products Obtained from the Breed
The industrialization of the dairy cattle sector has been an important driver of economic growth in the EU since the 1950s. This process has seen a shift from small-scale, family-owned farms to larger operations, with 31 main dairy processors now operating on the EU market. This shift has also changed the employment landscape within the sector, with cattle and crops farms now employing a much larger share of regional labor than before. As well as providing increased economic benefits for those regions, this increase in scale has also given farmers access to more modern technology and practices that have helped to improve efficiency and yields.
Impact on Local Economy Due to Farming with Dutch Dairy Cattle
The EU agricultural sector is largely shaped by the Dutch dairy industry, which has developed from a late-medieval local selective breeding of cattle to an export of dairy products and fattened cattle. Wild aurochs also have had an influence on the sector. The costs of mastitis in dairy cattle are one of the greatest economic burdens, as quantified by Tiwari et al., and these costs can be reduced at farm level through investments in large dairy farms. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a significant downturn in Pakistan’s economy, although investments in imported dairy cows may help to revive it. Beef production remains the main focus of the livestock industry but interest in dairy farming is growing. According to government statistics, there are 1.7 million farms across Europe with 23.5 million dairy cows producing an average milk yield per cow. The Netherlands is home to 1.58 million cows and calves and produces 14 billion kg of milk each year. Lameness is one of the most irritating problems facing dairy farmers as it leads to poor animal welfare and economic losses. Dairy farming has come under fire from animal welfare activists who point out that intensive animal husbandry causes health issues for cows.
Recommended Feeding and Care Practices For Optimal Health and Productivity of The Breed
Dairy cows require special care during the post-calving period, as this is when many welfare issues arise. To ensure optimal animal health and productivity, best farming practices should be implemented, such as providing alternative feed resources and using biorational pesticides to control vector-borne diseases. A survey was conducted in the Netherlands to assess the effectiveness of fresh cow management on economic performance. Results showed that innovative horizontal fans improved beef cattle health and production, while a commercial diet was developed for animal products and human health. These strategies are essential for maintaining a healthy dairy system and improving productivity across the continent. Furthermore, aflatoxin-contaminated feed can negatively affect the health of dairy cattle.
Pakistan is known for having a large number of dairy animals, and dairy farming plays an important role in the nation’s economy. The Dutch Holstein Friesian cow breed is an ideal breed for Pakistani farmers, offering economic, environmental and social sustainability. This breed has been found to be highly effective in terms of artificial insemination and nutrient management planning. It also leads to high quality food production such as meat and milk.
The Nili-Ravi buffaloes native to Pakistan are particularly prone to reproductive failure, leading to economic losses. However, by implementing a calving interval specific to the dairy industry, these losses can be minimized. Additionally, a focus on small-scale dairy farming can help uplift the socioeconomic conditions of resource-poor communities in the Province of Punjab. Finally, a successful dairy marketing system is essential for achieving optimal results from this sector of the economy.