Dairy development on the path of self-sufficiency in Bangladesh

Friday, March 31, 2023

Dairy development in the path of self-sufficiency in Bangladesh

Dairy farming and the production of local dairy products is an age old practice in Bangladesh. Bangladesh is rich in production and consumption of a wide variety of local sweets and sweet yoghurt (Dohi). Dairy animals play an important role in the traditionally mixed farming of crop and livestock in the country. As the native animals are low producing ones, Bangladesh has introduced exotic dairy breeds. Holstein Frisian is the most popular exotic breed of dairy cattle among farmers. The Government is also promoting the Holstein Frisian breed through Artificial Insemination. Cross-breeds of Holstein Frisian cows, with better feeding, health care and management, are producing more than 5 times the amount of milk than the local breed.

Although Bangladesh is still importing powder milk from abroad, in recent years the increasing trend of milk production is quite encouraging. Total milk production in Bangladesh was 5.07 million metric tons per year in 2012/13, and has increased to 13.07 million metric tons per year in 2021/22. Thus, during this 10-year period, milk production has increased by more than 2.5 times. This is a remarkable growth in milk production. Nevertheless, it still does not satisfy the local need: the present demand of milk is estimated to be 15.67 million metric tons per year and is expected to rise further. This means that there is still a significant potential for further development in dairy farming and the entire dairy industry of the country.

Covid-19 had significant impact in milk production and marketing. However, the dairy sector of Bangladesh has now recovered. There are more than 15 milk processing facilities in the private sector which collect milk from the farmers and have a combined capacity of processing more than 1.2 million liters of fresh milk per day. These dairies are also producing and marketing a wide range of other dairy products like butter, cheese, panir, ghee, ice cream, flavored milk, UHT milk. The local market for these dairy products is steadily expanding.

To further support the sector, the Government has established the Livestock and Dairy Development Project (LDDP). LDDP's objective is to improve productivity, market access, and resilience of smallholder farmers and agro-entrepreneurs operating in various livestock value chains selected in LDDP's target areas. This includes the dairy value chain. Within the framework of this project, technical experts from AFC and it’s local partner SSIL are providing advisory services to the dairy farmers in breed development, feeds and fodder production, animal health services, marketing and capacity building of farmers. LDDP is further supporting the dairy entrepreneurs in feeds and fodder development, milk collection and processing through the Matching Grant Scheme. Looking at the increasing interest of the dairy farmers in milk production, establishment of several milk collection and processing facilities in the private sector for marketing and increasing market demand of dairy products, the Bangladesh dairy sector is on the path of self-sufficiency.

Further information can be provided by AFC’s Project Manager Johannes Geisen (Johannes.geisen [at] afci.de) and Mr. Dala Ram Pradhan dalaram.lddp [at] gmail.com.