Pakistan is one of the five biggest producers of milk in the world. Every year, the country produces around 60 billion litres of milk, according to the Economic Survey of Pakistan 2017-2018. But a large segment of the population is still deprived of clean, hygienic milk.
Around 97% of this milk is sold through milkmen, which is often impure and unsafe. Milk processing plants carry out mass production of packaged milk in bulk, but they cannot cater to the ever-growing population.
“Only around two billion litres of milk is processed in Pakistan,” says Dr Muhammad Nasir, a dairy expert. “This is around seven to eight per cent of the total milk produced. The rest of the milk sold is raw,” he said.
Pasteurised milk is already short in supply and officials in the milk processing industry say that it will not be possible to supply clean, pasteurised milk in the next three to four years. They suggest that the government needs to give incentives to increase foreign investment in this division.
“The dairy division has only an 11% share in the per capita income,” said Syed Saud Ahmed Pasha, Director Agribusiness at Engro. “Increasing milk production can double this value.”
Health experts say that if you want the upcoming generation to be healthy, there needs to be an increase in the production and supply of pasteurised milk. Pasteurised milk protects from many disease-causing pathogens (bacteria, yeasts, moulds) found in loose or raw milk.