Thinking in Dairy Future

“Education is not the learning of facts but the training of mind to think” this was what has prompted the IDEA DAIRY WORKSHOP International- Thinking in Dairy Future”. Alltech Pakistan in collaboration with University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) conducted a one-day virtual Idea Dairy Workshop International on Saturday, March 20, 2021. It is second chapter of the journey that begun back in 2018.

Dairy industry in Pakistan is transforming at a good pace; one driver of this transformation is the challenge of COVID-19, which has raised the concerns of food security and safety and secondly, the growing population. Dairy holds a unique blend of nutrients that sufficiently fulfills the nutritional demand of the human. Dairy farmers are upgrading with time and lot of new technologies and advance practices are being brought in local market predominantly by private- corporate farmers. Whereas a majority of small farmers are still unaware of these technologies and often don’t have access to them. For this very reason, Idea dairy workshop has surfaced to maximum educate and aware the dairy local farmers and Human Resource associated with supply Chain.

The workshop has gathered stakeholders, farmers, processor, academicians and the worthy Minister of Livestock and Dairy Development Sardar Hasnain Bhadur Dreshak on ONELINK to debrief the dairy industry hidden potential, loopholes and discuss the future strategy for dairy business in Pakistan.

The workshop started with recitation of Holy Quran followed by recitation of Holy Naat. The house was opened by Meritorious Prof. Dr. Nasim Ahmad (S.I), Vice Chancellor University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences-Lahore, he appreciated the collaborative efforts of Alltech and UVAS for this workshop and shared the key advancements UVAS has adopted over time with the audience. He stated that UVAS currently offers a unique set of services for the local farmers including early diagnostics which could help them eradicate the disease and save their profit. He said UVAS has always been actively involved in supporting the local farmers and mentioned that currently UVAS has Dairy Training Research Center in Pattoki, 24/7 services, Diagnostic labs services and a state of the art Animal Nutrition Laboratory in Pattoki Campus, and all these services are available for the farmers. He welcomed everyone and opened the session.

After him, Dr. Shahzad Naveed Jadoon, Director/CEO, Alltech Pakistan Pvt. Ltd. has addressed the audience and shared the idea behind Thinking in Dairy Future. He formally thanked Prof. Dr. Talat Naseer Pasha (S.I), Vice Chancellor University of Education- Lahore for his divine support in conducting the first idea dairy workshop in UVAS back in 2018. He continued saying that it was just the beginning of the journey towards change, he said he believes that there is a lot that we can do collaboratively to make this journey worthwhile. He began his presentation and put forward some question to audience and the authorities stating the need to define the status of dairy as industry or sector; need of predictive models | 4F’s – Field, feed, Farm, Food integrations; to discover new dairy arenas other than meat and milk; to understand prosumer demand; facilitate the entrepreneur with incentive markets and undoubtedly the nexus would serve as epicenters. He gave a brief insight into dairy industry Pakistan and shared some interesting facts showcasing the potential, he added that we have resources, curious human resources, intellects and serious investors; all we need is to synergize and deliver back an efficient workable model that would equally adaptable by the rural farmers. He presented a SHARED RESOURCE MODEL and said that this model is already in practice at large dairies but we need to customize and tailored it further for the rural farmers. He said farmers are seeking one solution window that will be the consultative value creation model. He emphasized and requested the authorities to develop Consumption-Production Pattern Census, so we may have a clear picture in hand and would able to customize our approach for optimizing dairy in future. He concluded with a question that are we prepared for the future because this is really important to start thinking and working in collaboration today to have a sustainable and profitable dairy in the future.

Prof. Dr. Amir Ghafoor, Incharge University Diagnostic Lab, UVAS has given detailed presentation on the available health and diagnostic services at UVAS. He shared with the viewers, the commonly occurring disease on the farm level that adversity impact the animal health and wellbeing, kill farmer’s profit and are zoonotic. He mentioned that 70% losses are due to FMD with benefit cost ratio of 22.15. He said it is increasingly important for the farms to put in place a disease management or health care programme in order to prepare for and respond to disease proactively. He shared a strategy: Plan- investigate- prevent introduction and spread- monitor. He added that UVAS offers diagnostic services and plans which includes reproductive plan, infectious disease prevention plan, udder health plan, and neonatal health plan. He shared the advance techniques being in practice at UVAS for the identification and quantification of the pathogens. He emphasized the farmers to monitor the titer after vaccination. He further added that in future UVAS will be advancing to ELISA and PCR to evaluate the risk via milk instead of somatic cell count.

Dr. Shahzad Naveed Jadoon supported the idea and said that farm economics is linked with production and reproduction so we must involve the private companies and work on the accessibility of mobile services for the farmers at their doorstep.

An international dairy expert Paolo Colturato from Italy paolo.colturato@fastwebnet.it | Cell: +39 340 983 6235 joined the session and gave a brief introduction about Team Paragon and its expertise in dairy. He presented the importance of minerals in influencing animal function and ultimately defining farm performance and profitability. He highlighted that urine other than diagnostics, give a lot more information about metabolism and energy balances. He said that hypocalcaemia is the epicenter. He added mineral imbalances will lead to low Dry Matter intake and low immunity. He quoted that the well- being and profitability of the cow could be greatly enhanced by understanding those factors that could account for the high disease incidence inperiparturient cows. He shared that paragon offer supports to dairy farmers who want to have profitable business by early detection of risk of metabolic diseases, checking the mineral status of the herd to increase production and reproduction.

Dr. Hifz-ul-Rahman, Dairy Farm manager, UVAS Holstein Farm shared the precise milking practices and udder health importance with the viewers. He stated that udder health is the cumulative effect of adopting best management practices. He provided a detailed table comparing the Somatic cell count and its impact in (%) loss milk production. He shared with audience the common yet advance practices that he practice in the parlor to maintain good udder health and also educated the audience with the associated impact of not performing these practices in term of milk loss. He further showcased some of the methods to monitoring somatic cell count. He emphasized that the farmer should monitor time as milking is time bound. Farmers need to pay attention to time in order to not lose the peak oxytocin flow. He highlighted the importance of post milking teat dip. He added that hygiene scoring chart should be part of the routine practices as more the dirtiness, the more will be the risk of subclinical mastitis. He shared that herd using sand has less mastitis.

Dr. Naveed – ul Haq, Associate professor, UVAS shared a forecasting model with the audience. He started his presentation by giving an overview of two major surveys conducted in the past years that laid the basis of this model. He said that there is lack of comprehensive understanding and though diagnostic tools are available but are expensive for the farmers. He added that farmers need more precise yet understandable model that could facilitate them in their decision making. He demonstrated the forecasting model and showed that how simple management practices and advancement can save farmers from huge losses and improve their efficiency and profitability. He appreciated the workshop and concluded saying that they are still in developing phase and will improve and launch this model in the coming time.

Dr. Aijaz Ali Channa, Assistant Professor, UVAS talked about reproductive efficiency and how this challenges could be overcome at the farm level with some easy management practices and key considerations. He discussed that management and nutrition are the keys in good calving. He further added that there is need to adapt to new techniques and follow protocols concisely to enhance reproductive efficiency.

Later part of the day, chief guest Sardar Husnain Bahadar Dreshak Minister Livestock and Dairy Development Punjab joined the workshop. He appreciated Alltech and UVAS for this timely organized workshop. He said that he is a firm believer that nature has blessed us inherent strengths. He shared with audience that the COVID-19 has disrupted the agrifood sector and almost 30-40% poultry has shrunken amid COVID-19. He said that the dairy industry has revolutionized greatly in the last 2 decades. It engages 8.4miilion farmers directly. Small rural farmers are also transforming into commercial. He said he feels proud as a regulator and encouraged by witnessing such transformations. He added that private sector role can’t be overlooked in dairy developments locally. He further said that such workshops enable increased connectivity and helpful in improving practices. Together, we need to adjust our focus and be clear about shared goal. He said lack of continuity result in limited reforms. There is a need to bring consistency and commitment through policies. He wrapped his talk by thanking Alltech and UVAS and the audience for their active participation, Pakistan Paindabad!

Dr. Shahzad Naveed Jadoon thanked the worthy minister for his valuable time and comments, and agreed that indeed animal health is linked with human health. Everyone has to work together and should have some shared resource model to lower the cost of production and improve farm performance and profitability.

During the workshop, polling having question related to reproduction, nutrition, health, environmental impact, HR, diagnostics, processing and farm management was conducted to understand and mark the issues which need to be address at priority, and the results of poll were shared at the end of the workshop.

Prof. Dr. Nasim Ahmad (S.I), Vice Chancellor University of Veterinary and animal Sciences (UVAS) concluded the workshop by thanking Dr. Shahzad Naveed Jadoon for this collaboration. He also thanked Worthy Minister Sardar Hasnain Bhadur Dreshak, and said that his presence always gives strength and energy for the future activities. He said we need to integrate and try best to collaborate to produce effectively milk for the consumer. He said that he got educated from the workshop and hope that it has been valuable for the local farmers. He thanked the audience for actively participating in the workshop. The workshop adjourned at 14:00hrs.