ACIAR livestock projects funded in Pakistan over the past decade have had one clear objective — improve the productivity and profitability of smallholder dairy farms. Ten years on, the benefits have been profound, reinforcing an already strong agriculture research partnership between Pakistan and Australia.
With a population of around 200 million people, Pakistan is the sixth most populated country in the world and has a well-integrated agriculture sector accounting for a quarter of the country’s gross domestic product.
Over the past decade, milk production has increased by one third with 95 percent of all milk coming from small-scale rural and peri-urban holdings with less than five milking animals. Eight million families depend on the industry as a vital source of income and socio-economic development, making Pakistan one of the world’s top milk producers.
Since 2007, the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) supported collaborative efforts between Pakistan and Australian research agencies—most notably the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences in Lahore, Charles Sturt University, and the University of Melbourne— to increase and improve the productivity and profitability of smallholder dairy farmers, transforming their lives in the process.