LAHORE (01-06-17): The Department of Dairy Technology of the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Lahore observed World Milk Day to create awareness about natural milk, its nutritional value and various milk products on Thursday.

Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha presided over the World Milk Day ceremony while Dean Faculty of Animal Production & Technology Prof Dr Anjum Khalique, Chairperson Department of Dairy Technology Dr Saima Inayat and dairy technology students, faculty members and representatives from public and private sectors, farmers and consumers attended.

Speaking on the occasion, Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Talat Naseer Pasha said that Pakistan is the 4th largest milk producing country with annual milk production of 54.328 million tonne. Most of the milk is produced by cattle (19.412 million tonne) and buffaloes (33.137 tonne), with minor contribution by goats and camels, he added.  He also spoke about the nutritional importance of milk, which should be the best choice among the available beverages as it contains calcium, potassium, phosphorous, which is essential for the growth of human body.

Prof Pasha said that livestock is major source of livelihood of poor farmers and key to poverty alleviation, therefore we need to focus on the profitability of small farmers. He called for increasing duty on import of skimmed milk powder. He said that the UVAS is also working on eradication of malnutrition issues through a healthy nutrition programme being run in the surrounding area schools of Ravi Campus Pattoki. He lauded the role of Punjab Food Authority and supported its proposal to ban soft drinks in schools, replacing them with the flavoured milk to provide healthy nutrition in schoolchildren in Punjab. He also lauded the efforts of Secretary Livestock and Diary Development Mr Naseem Sadiq, under his leadership the livestock sector is developing with each passing day.

Prof Pasha said that dairying community is facing multiple problems particularly with the shift of milk processing industry towards skimmed milk powder. He said that there is the need for the value chain development for dairy products from farmer to the end consumer. He said that unorganized market for the sale of yoghurt, butter and desi ghee needs improvement. Business of dairy industries can be improved by having access to international markets and this is only possible by introducing new dairy products and improving the quality of existing ones, he added.

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