Dairy Farming in Pakistan: The Transformation of Small Farms and Livestock Management Practices

Posted: 12 May 2018

Date Written: May 12, 2018


There is a white revolution taking place in Pakistan, led by the private sector. It is transforming the practices of the country’s dairy farmers and tying them in to the increasing demand for milk of its growing middle class. For the most part, the government and its functionaries are absent from this structural transformation in the country’s rural economy Such absence is a first in the country’s modern history. Stretching back to the colonial era under the Raj in India, when the building of irrigation canals starting in the 19th century transformed the landscape and tied rural populations to global commodity markets, the government always had a robust presence in the operations and changes of the rural economy. This time around, it is large multinationals led by Nestle and large Pakistani industrial food giants led by Engro Foods that are taking the lead in reshaping the rural economy, this time in the dairy sector. To tie farmers to their supply chains, these and other companies guarantee that they will be the sole purchaser for the farmer’s entire dairy production. They then work with farmers to change on-farm dairy management practices to ensure consistent yields and quality of milk production. For farmers, having a guaranteed buyer for their enhanced milk production gives them an incentive to make the production and practice changes that the companies demand of them. Also, shorter payment cycles in the form of weekly payments to farmers means that their cost recovery time is significantly improved from traditional agricultural production of crops and commodities that are largely restricted to the country’s two planting cycles. This financial transformation of the rural economy with its greater infusion of cash to farmers is also changing their ability to afford greater schooling access for their children with a broadly expressed desire that their children will not follow them into dairy farming.

Keywords: Dairy Farming, Small Farms, Livestock Management Practices, Transformation

Suggested Citation

Sattar, Erum, Dairy Farming in Pakistan: The Transformation of Small Farms and Livestock Management Practices (May 12, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3171075

Erum Sattar (Contact Author)

Harvard Law School ( email )

Cambridge, MA
United States
6179533638 (Phone)
6179533638 (Fax)

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