Program activities dairy sector

In 2005 total milk production in Pakistan exceeded 29 million tonnes, making it the fourth largest milk producer worldwide. Dairying is by far the largest livestock sector in Pakistan, valued in at Rp360 billion pa (A$8 billion). Supply has increased by >5% pa over the past 15 years, but demand is anticipated to more than treble by 2020, requiring an even faster boost in production. Government of Pakistan (GoP) national plans are to increase production, raise the level of processed milk in the market to >30% from the current level of <5% (to improve product quality) and to improve the profitability to smallholder farmers (who produce over 80% of the milk) through streamlining marketing and increasing milk production per animal. Accordingly, the GoP identified the dairy sector as one of the key focal points for the ASLP.

About 50-60% of buffalo and cattle are in rural subsistence farms, with most of the rest in rural market-oriented farms; this group continues to grow as their access to markets improves. Over 70% of buffalo and cattle are in herds of less than 10 animals; about 70% of households with milking animals have herds of less than 5 animals, while a further 20 to 25% of households have 5 to 10 animals. In all but the peri-urban systems the livestock are a component of crop-livestock systems, integrated with wheat, maize and cotton production, in both irrigated and dryland farming systems. Milk production per lactation for both buffalo and cattle is well below the genetic potential of the breeds used, ranging from 500kg to 2400kg per annum. Typically the subsistence and market-oriented rural farmers achieve production levels of 500-1200kg/annum, with production primarily limited by poor nutrition. In both cases improved production levels and profitability will require interventions that affect the whole systems, and not just the livestock component.

Given the size and complexity of the dairy sector, and the limited time available for the ASLP initiative, particular attention has been given to where and how this initiative can add value to the current system in a focussed manner and where Australian expertise can be coupled with that in Pakistan to the greatest effect. The main opportunity for Australian technical support though the ASLP is seen in enhancing the extension service and the research/extension interface, which are considered to be major bottlenecks in the development of the dairy sector, particularly the style of communication between farmers and extension staff, information available to extension staff that can be used to address farmer problems, skills and numbers of extension staff and a failure to consider problems and solutions in a whole-of-farm systems context.

Industry exposure visits

A private sector dairy delegation from Pakistan visited Australia in September 2006. The visit resulted in the acquisition and import to Pakistan of 2200 high performance dairy cattle. Additional shipments of cattle from Australia have been taking place. This activity was organised by Austrade, which is implementing the private sector linkages component of the ASLP. In June 2008, a technical delegation from Pakistan to visited Australia. A report on their trip is available in the downloads section below.


A dairy knowledge fair and technical workshop was held in Lahore on the 20th to 22nd of February 2007. The knowledge fair, organised by Austrade, brought Australian dairy and processing enterprises to Pakistan, while the technical workshops exposed Pakistan corporate and commercial dairy producers to management principles of high performance dairy cattle. The presentations and workshop program are available below.

Scoping studies

A dairy constraints analysis study was carried out in May 2006 as a precursor to designing a major research, development and capacity building project for the dairy sector. The study team travelled extensively through Punjab and Sindh Provinces and consulted widely with Government agencies, the private sector and NGOs in those Provinces and in the national capital, Islamabad. The report is provided below. This was followed by a further project development mission to Punjab in September 2006. Recently, the dairy project team commissioned a review of vaccine production in Pakistan, which was carried out in April 2008.

Research, development and capacity building projects

Based on the outcomes of the dairy constraints analysis and a subsequent project development mission, a major dairy development project has been developed, based around two major themes: 1: Support for a model system of smallholder dairy production, and 2:  Capture and enhancement of knowledge relevant to smallholder dairy systems. This project commenced in August 2007. Its main collaborating institutions are:

  • Charles Sturt University, Australia
  • Livestock and Dairy Development Board, Pakistan
  • Punjab Livestock and Dairy Development Department, Pakistan
  • National Rural Support Program, Pakistan
  • Idara-e-Kissan, Pakistan
  • University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences (UVAS), Lahore, Pakistan


Newsletters originating from the dairy project can be accessed below.

  • November 2007
  • January 2008


  • Dairy constraints analysis report
  • Vaccine report

Material from the Dairy Knowledge Fair and Technical Workshop

  • Workshop program
  • Peter Doyle’s presentation
  • John House’s presentation
  • Tom Cowan’s presentation
  • Peter Wynn’s presentation
  • Talat Pasha’s presentation
  • Hasan Raza’s presentation
  • M. Saqib’s presentation
  • Abdul Ghaffar’s presentation