Pran Dairy Limited, a dairy company, and Arla Foods Bangladesh Limited, the local subsidiary of European dairy cooperative Arla Foods has recently completed the first phase of the jointly initiated dairy development project in Bangladesh.
With the objective of showcasing a market driven and sustainable dairy production to increase milk productivity and quality, alongside economic output of the local dairy value chain in Bangladesh, Pran Dairy and Arla Bangladesh initiated this collaboration earlier this year, said a press release.
In the primary phase of the collaboration, both organisations conducted farm assessments to build capacity and to identify opportunities for more sustainable dairy farming solutions. Subsequently, a series of training sessions were conducted targeting trainers, extension staff and other relevant stakeholders to supplement the ongoing dairy activities.
The training sessions were led by Senior Project Manager of Arla Foods Nigeria Snorri Sigurdsson with the aid of Dr Mohammad Mohi Uddin Professor of Department of Animal Nutrition at the Bangladesh Agricultural University.
The five training sessions started from early May this year and ended in the last week of September. For the last session, Snorri Sigurdsson visited Bangladesh to provide on-spot practical and theoretical knowledge to the trainers of Pran Dairy. The last session was conducted in the North Western region of Bangladesh, Rangpur, which is a major dairy collection hub for Pran.
Senior Project Manager of Arla Foods Nigeria Snorri Sigurdsson observed, "The situation in Bangladesh is not at all much different from many other countries I have visited dairy farmers in. Overall the production conditions are for sure not easy for dairy farming in Bangladesh with the hot weather and sometimes high humidity, both of which cows do not like at all, but that is manageable with the right knowledge."
The first four sessions where conducted online focusing on milk production and quality, the right environment for dairy farms and animal welfare, feed and feeding for the cows and a comprehensive outlook on dairy cow management.
Chairman and CEO of Pran-RFL Group Ahsan Khan Chowdhury commented, "Our major challenge was the technical know-how to make the dairy sector a proper business industry by organizing small farmers across the country. Till date, Pran has partnered with many international organizations to help the country's dairy sector since its inception. Now Pran is working with Arla to accommodate European farm management system in Bangladesh. I hope the initiative will help our farmers and dairy sector."
Managing Director of Arla Foods Bangladesh Peter Hallberg remarked, "Aligned with our Future 26 strategy, we feel that we can contribute significantly to the overall development of the dairy sector, as well as supporting the dairy ambition of the country."
According to the media release, as a part of this collaboration, apart from strengthening the local dairy value chain, there will be further collaboration with Bangladesh Agricultural University to collect data systematically and scientifically to analyse social, environmental, and economic impact of the collaboration.