ISLAMABAD: The Australian government-funded Market Development Facility (MDF) and Fauji Foods Limited signed a partnership agreement to establish 20 milk collection centres in rural Layyah and Muzaffargarh districts of southern Punjab.
Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Margaret Adamson joined Fauji Foods MD and CEO Javaid Iqbal at a signing ceremony at the Fauji Foods factory in Bhalwal. High Commissioner Adamson welcomed the joint investment by Australia and Fauji Foods which, she said, will expand Pakistan’s formal milk procurement network and increase incomes for smallholders.
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“Extending the commercial network for milk procurement will help in addressing Pakistan’s annual milk supply-demand gap of 3.5 billion litres. The milk collection centers will also deliver critical information to farmers on best practice in milking, vaccination and animal husbandry,” Adamson added.
“By connecting smallholders with commercial markets, the milk collection centres will attract better quality milk and provide a better rate for farmers for their product,” she said.
The high commissioner further said that Australia’s development cooperation partnership with Pakistan is focused on reducing poverty through economic growth and human development, adding that investment in the private sector, nutrition and gender equality are key priorities, and are linked to this catalytic new initiative.
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Fauji Foods CEO Javaid Iqbal, highlighting the importance of the partnership, said that farmers can significantly benefit from an extension service which will educate them about the best husbandry practices and benefits of pro-active vaccination and de-worming.
MDF is Australian government’s private sector development programme in Pakistan. Since 2013, MDF has partnered with 46 Pakistani businesses in the dairy, meat, leather and horticulture sectors and is now expanding into new sectors in support of business services and sustainable technologies.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 7th, 2018.
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