Dairy production in Bangladesh
Bangladesh is currently ranked among the 25 largest milk producing countries in the world. Production is spread throughout the country and has grown practically year after year in recent decades, since the ’70s...
Bangladesh is currently ranked among the 25 largest milk producing countries in the world. Production is spread throughout the country and has grown practically year after year in recent decades, since the ’70s. Then, annual production was approximately 1 million tons of milk, while current production is around 11 million tons. The growth of the sector since 2010 is remarkable, where national milk production has been multiplied by five.
Growth prospects are very high, given that despite having a high milk production, the country lacks two important conditions:
- Self-sufficiency: national production has not yet been able to meet the internal requirement: Currently, the availability of milk per capita is 175.63 ml/day, while the recommended minimum daily intake is 250 ml.
- Adequate per capita intake: intake levels per inhabitant are below the minimum, due to lack of self-sufficiency, but also due to difficult access to obtaining milk in some regions. In terms of milk consumption per capita, Bangladesh ranks at the bottom in the world. Regionally, per capita milk consumption in South Asia is one of the lowest in the world.
The dairy industry of products derived from milk has also increased, but there is still a long way to go, given that only 9% of milk reaches industrial processors, UHT milk or dairy products, while the remaining 91% It is marketed in a traditional or informal way.
The sector is therefore divided into these two sections, formal and informal. Regarding marketing, there are 4 or 5 main companies that dominate the sector, such as Milk Vita with 40% of the market share, or BRAC’s Aarong and Pran with an approximate 24% share each. The rest of the quota would be occupied by Farm Fresh and other smaller producers.
They all face similar challenges, including:
- Lack of drugs, additives and efficient feed for cattle, and inadequate personnel training.
- High production cost due to inefficient feed, which requires a higher intake of feed for an equal milk production.
- Low quality final product, due to poor quality of raw materials and feed.
- Low production, as a consequence of the confluence of the above factors, and the absence of high-performance breeds in the country, which leads to the use of local breeds or their crosses.
As mentioned, one of the main challenges is the low production and poor efficiency of the farms, generated mainly by feed and raw materials of poor quality. Adequate food preservation is necessary in order to preserve its nutritional profile, avoid extra costs and improve farm efficiency. In addition, poorly preserved feeds are usually contaminated with fungi, and aflatoxin is one of the most reported mycotoxins in the country, with marked effects in dairy cattle and humans through its excretion in milk as Aflatoxin M1. Its prevention is key to increasing the efficiency of dairy farms and avoiding problems for human consumption, which will make the product more and more accepted by the final consumer, increasing consumption and the added value of the product.