Chinese dairy farm management improves

Tetra Pak and DeLaval, sister companies in the Tetra Laval Group have signed a five year agreement with the Dairy Association of China to provide training to Chinese dairy farm managers. Both the Chinese and Swedish ministers of agriculture attended the signing, to increase cooperation within agriculture.

Since 2008, the Chinese government has been driving a transition from household farming activities, involving just a handful of cows, to medium, or large sized farms, which have more than 100 milk producing cows.

Its aim is to improve farming efficiency, increase product quality and enhance standards of animal welfare. By 2020, the government hopes to raise the proportion of dairy cows reared on such farms to 60% compared with the current 45%.

However, a shortage of qualified managers, capable of running operation of this scale, threatens to prevent them from achieving that ambition.

Through the agreement 150 managers will be trained during the next five years, providing them with the skills required running larger scale dairy farms.

Professor Li Shengli, Professor of the China Agricultural University and chief scientist of Dairy Farming engaged by the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture, says, “China’s liquid milk consumption is still low, at less than 20 litres per capita. This is approximately half the average consumption in Asia, and one-fifth the average in Europe. However, rising disposable income, combined with people’s desire to improve their quality of life, means the size and growth potential of the domestic market is huge; China must develop its own dairy farming industry.”

The training programme covers many different areas of dairy farm management, including breeding, nutrition and disease prevention. It will be delivered through lectures at the China Agricultural University, a two-month internship at a model farm in China, and culminate in the opportunity to visit and study at DeLaval’s Hamra farm and other dairy farms in Sweden.


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