Pakistan is the fifth largest producer of milk in the world, with many farmers engaged in supplying milk to rural and urban markets, mostly through ‘informal’ supply chains which do not necessarily guarantee the quality of milk traded. Animal husbandry information and quality inputs are inaccessible to most of the small-scale dairy farmers, which relates to low productivity per milking animal. Particularly in more remote areas, farmers are forced to sell milk at low prices in the absence of a formal buyer and/or sufficient competition between traders, known as dodhis.
MDF is partnering with Shakarganj to roll out milk collection centers equipped with chillers in thirty villages in Southern Punjab and develop an extension service for the farmers. Shakarganj Food Products Limited is a medium tier milk processor. The company produces dairy products such as UHT plain milk, flavored milk, liquid milk whitener and cream, amongst other products, packed in tetra-pack packages for the local market. By improving milk collection systems, extension services and agricultural input usage, Shakarganj is increasing the quality and quantity of the procured milk; processing milk more efficiently and selling more milk in the market.
Simultaneously, dairy farmers have access to a more consistent buyer who offers higher prices, better usage of inputs and better extension services – all of which enable them to increase their income from dairy farming and, potentially and gradually, increase investments in more productive dairy farming.