PROGRAM FOR NWFP
Milk is an essential food item for growing, school going
children. Access to good quality milk is their right. Under
the prevailing situation in the North-West Frontier Province (NWFP)
of Pakistan, there exists no arrangement for access of the
school going children to good quality and cheaper milk.
The food items available in the school shops are costly and
have no proper nutrient contents. On one hand, milk provides
essential nutrients like carbohydrates, fats, minerals and
vitamins for the growing children while on the other, the soft
carbonated drinks available at the school shops are injurious
to children health, specially the females'.
Keeping in view the importance of the issue, prevailing
internationally, School Milk Programs were initiated in many
countries, including the Asia-Pacific Region. The first
Asia-Pacific school milk conferences/International Dairy
Exhibition was held in Thailand during 1999 and the second one
is being held in Shanghai, China from November 19 to 23, 2001.
Status of NWFP
Dairy Farming Status
In the NWFP the population of dairy buffaloes
comprise 1.42 million heads. 90.1% buffaloes are possessed by
small farmers kept on nonÄcommercial basis, having up to 10
heads. 32.92% of buffaloes are kept in herds of more than 4
heads and 67.08% in herds of upto 4 heads.
Buffalo farmers almost lack any access to milk marketing. Only
9.9% buffaloes are kept on commercial scale by farmers,
keeping more than 10 heads.
In spite of a huge investment, these farmers keep their
animals without any consultancy by experts in breeding,
reproduction, feeding, health, management, etc. So their
farming is not viable economically; income is less; and
expenditures are higher.
According to Qureshi (1998) higher intake of protein and
minerals had adverse effect on fertility, especially during
the low breeding season and in low milk yielding buffaloes.
Excess intake of crude protein was one of the major factors
contributing to delay in the onset of ovarian activity. Higher
crude protein and calcium intake resulted in higher serum urea
and low serum calcium levels respectively, which in turn were
associated with postpartum anestrus.
Average daily production of milk was significantly effected
negatively by excess intake of crude protein and metabolizable
energy. It was suggested that protein intake favored milk
production but excess intake of protein and energy adversely
effected milk production.
According to the Pakistan Livestock Census 1996, the average
daily milk production in buffaloes is more than 10 liters in
10 districts of the Punjab and Sindh Provinces but buffaloes
with less than 5.5 liters were located in 4 districts of our
province. The wide variation in production has provided a good
base for improvement of productive potential through selective
breeding. The existing production potential of the buffaloes
is not efficiently exploited due to mismanagement of health,
nutrition and reproduction.
Milk production and its quality
The provincial dairy industry has emerged on the
principal of supply and demand, in the form of peri-urban
dairy farms established without any scientific
guidance/regulations. The milk is collected, transported and
marketed without keeping the minimum hygienic requirements.
The result is that these farms can neither satisfy the
financial needs of the producers nor the quality needs of the
Potential sources of contamination of milk are dung, water,
utensils, soil, feed, air, milking equipments, the animal and
the milker himself. Animals' sheds constitute the main source
of contamination of milk in the province. The floor of the
sheds is usually not in a good condition, making its cleaning
difficult; water availability is not sufficient for cleaning
light sources and ventilation and drainage are usually very
poor. In addition to the dairy animals, the sheds also possess
other animals and there is no restriction on the visitors.
Mud, urine, feces and feed residues are not regularly removed
from the shed. There is no
practice of cleaning the site, animal's flank, udders,
utensils or milkers' hands, before the milking is started.
The animal itself is a source of contamination of milk. There
is hardly any practice of managing health of the animals or
separating milk of the diseased or under-treatment animals
from the normal ones. The farmers are not aware of the
importance of the removal of large hair from animals' body
surface, washing or grooming.
Due to low socio-economic status of the dairy farmers, use of
the machine milking has not been introduced and little care is
given to hiring services of a good milker. The milker acts as
a source of contamination from his own body, clothes, hands,
saliva and sweating. Udder and teats of the animal are not
cleaned before or after milking. To accelerate the process of
milking, the milkers use oxytocin injections for milk let
down, which has an adverse effect on the physiology of animal
and the quality of milk.
Milking utensils and equipment are usually low quality and
there is no practice of use of antibacterial, cleansing
reagents for cleaning the equipment and then drying before
their use for milk collection. The utensils and equipments are
not protected from flies,
insects, dust, dirt, rodents, etc.
For storage and transportation of the milk from the dairy farm
to the sale point, the middle-man plays his role. The
containers used for milk storage and transportation usually
comprise of those used for storage of various chemicals and
are not safe for storage of food items. Various chemicals and
antibiotics are added to milk for prolonging its shelf life.
Channelization of milk to schools
The local milk produced in the province, is not channelized to
schools. Its major portion is consumed for making tea. The
parents are quality conscious and feel extreme difficulty in
getting fresh milk of good quality, for their children. The
only choice left is the use of imported milk powder,
reconstituted before being offered to children.
Role of GDP
In NWFP GDP has organized buffalo dairy farmers through
establishment of Sarhad Dairy Farmers Association. The
farmers, being of low socio-economic status, need sufficient
support of technical, financial and marketing nature.
In a study on a commercial buffalo farm with 187 lactating
buffaloes, the feed requirements and actual intake were worked
out. The feed intake was in excess by 272% of the
requirements. The excess feed intake costed Rs.5000 per day
(US$ 1= Pak.Rs.50) (Qureshi, 1998b). In another study (Qureshi,
2000) the calf losses, irregular breeding, imbalanced feeding
and ungainly loans caused a loss of Rs.1043.67 in the 4.87
million buffaloes and 10.38 millions cattle, kept on
commercial scale in the country (having more than 5 buffaloes
To improve the situation, a project proposal titles, "School
Milk Program NWFP" has been prepared. Under the proposed
program, the following objectives will be achieved:
a. Production of
cost-effective, clean milk through improvement of the peri-urban
buffalo dairy farms in the province.
b. Identification of areas
of intervention to prevent losses at the peri-urban dairy
farms, through improved health, reproduction, feeding and
c. Development of a model
marketing system for farm requirements and products, for
providing a relief to the producers and consumers, with
special focus on school-going- children.
d. Training and
organization of dairy farmers for conversion of the farmers
from non-profitable business to environment-friendly,
M. Subhan Qureshi, PhD
Member BoD, Global Development Program, Peshawar.
Tel.+92-91-275572, Fax 9210249,