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GJC Attends Regional Meeting on Sustainable Dairy Development in Asia : "Towards Sustainability: From Concept to Action"

In the land where cows are demi-Gods, GJC attended  the Regional Meeting on Sustainable Dairy Development in Asia from March 23-26, 2015 on NDDB campus in Anand, Gujarat, India.  Asia has seen a remarkable growth in the production and consumption of milk and milk products over the past decades and has now overtaken Europe as world's largest milk producer. As the world's largest producer of milk, the supply continues to fall short of demand. The net imports of milk and milk products regionally have increased threefold.

 The demand for milk and milk products in Asia will reach almost 320 million tonnes by 2021 as per OECD-FAO Agricultural estimates. This means the region will need to increase milk availability by another 50 million tonnes within the decade. This can be supplied either by production gains and or imports.

This meeting has been organized by the National Dairy Development Board of India (NDDB) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United nations (FAO) and hosted by NDDB in Anand, Gujarat , India . The purpose of the meeting is to endorse the Strategic Framework for Sustainable Dairy Development in Asia and to agree on the substance of a Multi-stakeholder platform in the form of action items to be taken forward. This is an offshoot of a series of meetings done by FAO Regional Offices for Asia and the Pacific (FAORAP) together with Animal Production and Health Division (AGA) of FAO, the Global Agenda for Sustainable Livestock (GASL) Dairy Farming Promotion Organization of Thailand (DPO) , Department of Livestock Development, Royal Thai Government, (DLD) and other partners organized in Bangkok last May 21-23, 2014 in Bangkok. This was followed by a Multi-stakeholder drafting the strategic framework paper reviewed and shared with Dairy  Asia meeting participants for comments. An open e-consultation was  held last October 15-25, 2014 to invite further comments from the stakeholders at large. Given that background, a regional meeting on NDDB campus was conceptualized this March.

With that in mind, some 70 participants including our administrator, Ms. Grace J. Cenas and Mr. Juan P. Lozano, the DAIRYCON chairperson attended the said meeting together with a broad range of stakeholders including senior officials from governments, national and international development agencies, private sector agencies, civil society organizations, donors and development partners and academic and research institutions.

 The aim is to endorse and adopt Strategic Framework for sustainable dairy development in Asia; prepare an indicative plan of action to operationalize the strategic framework paper; discuss and agree on the structure and processes of Dairy Asia platform and to foster collaboration between countries by identifying cooperation  opportunities, and knowledge sharing.

A host of topics were discussed during the plenary sessions by reputable leaders in the industry headed by Dr. Purvi Metha, Mr. Abdul Latiff, Mr. Neil Fraser, Mr. Tashi Samdup and Mr. Steve Staal  and facilitated by Dr. Jurgen Hagmann. Mr. Vinod Ahuja presented a paper on the Elements of a Regional Strategy for Sustainable Dairy Development in Asia. Animal nutrition in a 360 view and Sustainability of Asian Dairying was tackled by Harinder Makkar of FAO, Rome; Donald NKruman , Senior Program Officer of the Gats Foundation talked on Breeding for Sustainable Productivity Improvement in Asia, followed by Global Assessment of Manure Management Policies and Practices by Theun Vellinaa of Wagenegin Livestock Research Group of Wagenegin  University , Netherlands. These works were then analyzed in view to demands on and contribution to a possible platform. Overall demands were identified, value additions and stakeholders contribution as additions and identifications of the functions of a platform.

The next workshop was followed by a presentation on the national dairy plan of India, then by AMUL and their experiences with multi-stakeholder platforms rendered by Mohammad Jabbar, an International Consultant. A discussion ensued on how to organize a possible platform to deliver on the suggested functions. Modalities and structures like processes, membership, finance and other admin and governance aspects of Dairy Asia was likewise undertaken.

A plan of action was prepared and the final communication for endorsement was then prepared on the third day just in time for closing ceremony.

On March 26, the participants had a field trip to Gujarat Cooperative Milk Marketing Federation.  They also visited AMUL dairy and the Institute of Rural Management Anand  (IRMA) IDMC, Ltd . Packaging Film Manufacturing Plant and also a Dairy Cooperative Society .

Ching M. Lumanta

March 30, 2015

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