Dipl: (Australia partners with Fauji foods to set up milk collection centres in Punjab)

ISLAMABAD: The Australian Government-funded Market Development Facility (MDF) and Fauji Foods Limited signed a partnership today to establish 20 milk collection centres in rural Layyah and Muzaffargarh, Southern Punjab.

Australia’s High Commissioner to Pakistan Margaret Adamson joined Managing Director and Chief Executive Fauji Foods General Javaid Iqbal (HI) at a signing ceremony at the Fauji Foods factory in Bhalwal, says a press release.

High Commissioner Adamson welcomed the joint investment by Australia and Fauji Foods which will expand Pakistan’s formal milk procurement network and increase incomes for smallholders.

Extending the commercial network for milk procurement will help to address Pakistan’s annual milk supply-demand gap of 3.5 billion litres.

The milk collection centres will also deliver critical information to farmers on best practice in milking, vaccination and animal husbandry.

“Australia is pleased to be working with Pakistan’s progressive private sector to drive economic growth and assist Pakistan’s efforts to alleviate poverty,” Ms Adamson said.

“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.

Australia’s development cooperation partnership with Pakistan is focused on reducing poverty through economic growth and human development. Investment in the private sector, nutrition and gender equality are key priorities, and are linked to this catalytic new initiative.

General Iqbal (HI), highlighted the importance of the partnership. “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,” General Iqbal said.

MDF is the Australian Government’s private sector development program 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.