Milk Production & Procurement in Pakistan

Pakistan has one of the highest per capita milk and dairy products consumption rates in Asia (150-200 liters per year) and is the fourth largest milk producing country in the world with approximately 29-32 billion liters annual milk production. Higher milk yield is indeed a notable aspect of the milk sector. According to an expert, yield per animal has gone up from 700 liters per year to 1,200 liters in the last six to seven years.



  • Milk Production and Procurement in Pakistan
  • Milk Production
  • Milking Conditions and Hygiene
  • Histroy of Dairy Industries in Pakistan
  • Present Dairy Processing Plant
  • Milk Procurement Department (MPD)
  • Milk Procurement Types
  • Milk Procurement System (MPS)
  • Role OF MPD of Any Compay in Milk Procurement
  • Quality Systems in Milk Procurement
  • Milking Season in Pakistan
  • Quality Norems (Generalized) for Raw Milk Reception During Different Seasons
  • Test Performed at Various Levels
  • References


Pakistan has one of the highest per capita milk and dairy products consumption rates in Asia (150-200 liters per year) and is the fourth largest milk producing country in the world with approximately 29-32 billion liters annual milk production. Higher milk yield is indeed a notable aspect of the milk sector. According to an expert, yield per animal has gone up from 700 liters per year to 1,200 liters in the last six to seven years. This is significant in more than one way and opens the door of success wide for the livestock sector as also for national economy. In spite of the dairy sector, identified by the government as one of the key priority sectors for development, the farmers which are the key players were still facing constraints, inherent because of their small size, can not reach consumers or industry directly. They have little influence, therefore, on the price or quality of their milk. It has been estimated that over 90 percent milk is produced by a large number of small holders or landless farmers in the remote rural areas.

Milk producer’s foremost problem is marketing the milk, a highly perishable item. The Punjab’s Department of Dairy Development and Livestock is collaborating with the Idara Kisan (IK), a non-profit organization active in the procurement and marketing of milk to ensure fair rates. Their efforts now cover 13 districts in Punjab. According to SMEDA findings, it is generally understood that the primary hurdle to industry’s growth is the non-availability of milk in the right quantities and of good quality, especially in the lean production months of May to August when milk consumption is also the highest. To formulate appropriate strategies for development of the sector and identifying suitable strategic initiatives for the implementation of the same, a ’Strategy Working Group’ (SWOG) has been constituted under USAID, supported by Pakistan Initiative for Strategy Development and Competitiveness (PISDAC).
The need of a dedicated national entity for better sector management was realized by the Dairy SWOG at an early stage. The importance of a sector-level management company was further realized after study of benchmarked countries with respect to sector management. Successful models of entities working in other countries like ’Dairy Australia’ in Australia, ’Dairy Insight’ in New Zealand and ’National Dairy Development Board’ of India were studied, particularly. The concept of ’Dairy Pakistan’ has been evolved as a dedicated company in the private-public partnership (PPP).


The buffalo and the cow and to a very limited extent the goat are the main milch animals in the Indo-Pak sub-continent. The buffalo contributes some 64 percent, the cow 33 percent and the goat 3 per cent of the total milk produced in Indo-Pak. There are several well recognized breeds of cows and buffaloes in the region such as Red Sindhi, Gir, Tharparkar, and Sahiwal among the cows, and Murrah and Neeli Ravi among the buffaloes, are outstanding breeds. The milk of the buffalo is comparatively richer in fat content than that of the cow. Because of the lack of scientific animal husbandry and nutritional practices, the yield of the milch animals in Pakistan has been rather low compared to that of the dairy cow (especially) in the advanced dairy countries. In order to increase milk production we must have to :

  • Upgrade our animals
  • Better feeding practices and
  • Well organized veterinary services, including artificial insemination.

The population of the cross-bred cows and the upgraded buffaloes is expected to increase the milk production significantly.


Most of the milk in Pakistan is produced in the villages by farmers with small land holdings and also by landless agricultural laborers. Although an increasing portion of the milk produced is collected by the Supplier and other organized dairies, a significant portion of the milk is still being converted into traditional dairy products due to lack of refrigeration and transportation facilities. Conditions under which milk is produced in the villages are far from satisfactory, mainly because of the economic backwardness of the producers. The milk animals are housed in a part of the living space of the family or in small closed or open yards adjacent to the family house. Flooring is usually a plaster of mud. The cows are rarely washed before milking. Buffaloes generally wallow in ponds, especially in the hot summer months.

Milking is done by hand, usually after suckling by the calf. Except in a few modern large farms, milking machines are not used. Because of the distances between the producing and consuming points, milk is unavoidably held at ambient temperatures for a significantly long time leading to high microbial growth. The high ambient temperatures in the region for the major part of the year support rapid microbial growth.
The predominant types of micro flora in milk received in dairies are coliforms, micrococci, lactic streptococci, spore-forming aerobes and corynebacteria, the majority of these being contaminants from milk utensils. There is also a high incidence of thermoduric bacteria.


In Pakistan, modern milk processing in the dairy sector started in early 1960s, and by mid-1970s 23 milk pasteurization and sterilization plants were set up. With one exception, all of them are closed due to low consumer acceptance, the short shelf-life of the product and lack of trained manpower. The first UHT plant was set up in Pakistan in 1977. The success of this plant attracted many other investors also and during 1983-87, 20 new plants were set up. In the current situation, UHT capacity in the dairy industry is more than the demand for the product. Existing plants are operating below capacity and growth in demand is not likely to keep pace with the demand for relatively high-priced UHT milk.

Initial UHT milk processing Plant
PlantStart upInstalled Capacity (liters/day)
Milko, ltd. Lahore197725,000
MilkPak limited, sheikhupura1981150,000
Pakistan Dairies, Sahiwal198350,000
Halla, Pattoki198475,000
Chaudhry Dairies, Bhai Pheru198680,000
Milkways, tandlianwala198790,000(2)


Sr.NoPlantLocationManufacturer ofYear of
1Nestle Milkpak ltdSheikhupuraUHT plane milk, UHT cream, Milk powders, yogurt1981
2Nestle Milkpak ltd


UHT plane milk, UHT cream, Milk powders2005
3Haleeb Foods limitedBhai PheruUHT plane milk, UHT cream, Milk powders, yogurt1986
4Haleeb Foods limitedR.Y. khanUHT plane milk, UHT cream, Milk powders2005
5Nirala Dairy Pvt LtdTandlianwalaUHT milk, UHT cream, Milk powders2004
6Premier dairy Pvt. Ltd.LahoreUHT plane milk, Milk powders 
7K & K Dairy Pvt. LtdLahoreUHT plane milk, Milk powders2005

Shaker Gunj Foods ltd

JaranwalaUHT plane milk, UHT flavored milk, Milk powders2003
9Noon PakistanBhalwalUHT plane milk, UHT flavored milk, Milk powders2003
10Engro Foods LtdSukkharUHT plane milk, UHT flavored milk, Milk powders2005
11Engro Foods LtdSahiwalUHT plane milk, Ice cream2007
12Royal dairy


UHT flavored milk 
13Millac Foods Pvt. Ltd.LahoreMilk powders 
14Military DairyOkaraMilk powder and cheese 
15Prime dairyLahoreYogurt 
16Butt dairyTandlianwalaMilk powder 


Pasteurized milk and Milk powder 
18GourmeteLahorePasteurized milk and ice cream 
19Adam’s DairySahiwalCheese and whey powder 
20Alpha DairyJhungUHT plane milk, Milk powders 


Milk is procured form area to fulfill the industry needs by procurement departments of the companies. This is the most important department in every dairy industry, provided with highly paid Procurement managers supported with a team of qualified and experienced staff of zonal managers, area executives or milk collection controller, milk collection supervisors, mobile testers, drivers, peons and etc. in order to support the procurement staff a separate wing of accounts is also established. This is the department with highest number of employees. Procurement of milk is not an easy job.

It stands on the following five pillars :

  1. Quantity
  2. Quality
  3. Cost
  4. Competition
  5. Man Power

Quantity :

Every dairy industry operates at its capacity to be a profitable. So in this competitive environment to have a some specific volume of raw milk some time is the biggest challenge then quality. If a procurement department is failing to achieve the target quantity, it means it is not functioning properly. This definitely affects dairy business. Following factors affect the quantity :

  • Season (availability of milk)
  • Market competition
  • Rate of milk
  • Payment system (direct/banks)
  • Payment duration (at Spot, after week, after fortnight)
  • Milk procurement size (larger the size of the procurement greater the quantity of milk)
  • Company strategy.
  • Raw milk receiving parameters

Quality :
Good quality milk is essential for production of good quality dairy products, taste and flavour, free from pathogens and long keeping quality. Good quality raw milk must be:

  1. Free from debris and sediment
  2. Free from off-flavours.
  3. Low in bacterial numbers.
  4. Normal composition and acidity.
  5. Free of antibiotics and chemical residues.

Ultimate objective of any industry is to provide their customers with best quality product. Hence quality play important role in the procurement of milk .It is the biggest challenge for a company, as it affects cost, quantity, & competition. Increase quality, decrease quantity, increase cost & competition. At procurement stage in order to have good quality raw milk, company takes following steps :

  1. Develop infrastructure
    • Develop Centers
    • Install Chilling units
    • Develop Lab
    • Development of VMC
  2. Staff Recruitment
    • Recruit
    • Provision of Competitive salary
    • Train
    • Provision of necessary facility
  3. Transportation system
    • Tanker purchase
    • Vehicles purchase/rent

Cost :

  1. Before Set up
    • Projection Cost
    • Set up / Capital cost
    • Running cost.
  2. After collection starts
    Landed Cost :Landed cost is the sum of following three costs :
    • Variable
    • Fix
    • Losses

    Variable :

    1. Raw milk Price
    2. Ice / Chilling
    3. Transportation cost; it includes Haulage cost

    Fixed cost :

    1. Procurement cost; includes salaries wages benefits
    2. Utilities
    3. Rents
    4. Maintenance and repair
    5. Weighing / measuring cost
    6. Storage cost; it includes ice and chilling cost
    7. Other miscellaneous cost; including quality cost and etc.

    Fixed Cost on milk procurement can be reduced by increasing volume of milk. It can also be reduced by controlling losses and over heads.

Competition :
Following types of competition exists in area for procurement of milk these competitions some time are beneficial for company and some times may be harmful for company.

  1. Industry to industry
  2. Producer to producer
Industry to industry competition :This kind of competition occurs between the industries through producers. Procurement staff of company plays an important role in this type of competition due to their relations & behavior towards the producers. More such kind of competition is beneficial for the producers. This kind of competition results into following :

  • Increase cost
  • Decrease quality
  • increase quantity with each industry

Producers to producers competition :This kind of competition occurs between the producers through companies. More such kind of competition is beneficial for the industries & may results into following :

  • Increase quantity
  • Increase quality
  • Decrease price


Milk Procurement is the starting point of dairy industry supply chain. The procurement process starts on the farm, where producers are advised, quality is monitored and raw milk is collected daily from various Farmers/progressive farmers by mini-suppliers and village milk collection centers countrywide and transported to factories in the most cost-effective manner. Raw milk quality is the cornerstone of excellent dairy products. Milk Procurement guards this quality with an eagle eye and ensures that company?s production needs are met. Through teamwork within the supply chain, procurement teams of companies ensure that raw milk losses are kept to the absolute minimum.

Milk procurement is basically of two types :

  1. Supplier’s collection
  2. Self collection
  1. Supplier Milk collection system :In this case supplier brings milk with their own sources at factory. The milk is scrutinized by quality assurance department of dairy as per their standards. If milk pass all the quality test then this milk is received other wise the milk is rejected.

    Mini/Hilux contractor :In this type of milk collection local supplier of area, collects milk with their own resources and bring this milk to companies sub center. If milk is according to company?s standard that milk is received otherwise rejected. All types of collected milk are brought to sub centers, where it is chilled (by chiller or by ice) and transported to Main center either through 1.7, 5 or 9 tons of tankers depending upon the quantity of milk, here milk is chilled through chillers and transported to plant.

  2. Self Milk collection system :
  1. Village Milk Collection (VMC) : In this case a local community nominated person (VMC agent) collect milk from local farmers on behalf of company by using company facilities. The VMC agent get commission from company on per litter collected milk. After collection VMC agent either himself approach the near by center of company for handing over of collected milk or company vehicle collect milk from that VMC agent as per written agreement. Very good quality milk is collected through the VMCs.. No doodhi is involved in this type of collection.
  2. Progressive formers : Having 10 adult buffalo or minimum 25 liters milk.
  3. Direct Farmer : Having one or more milch animal and bring milk directly to sub center or MCC.

Bulk milk transport :Milk procurement teams of companies ensures that milk is collected and transported to factories daily. Milk cooled on the farm or cooling centre may be transported in bulk tankers. Bulk tankers are insulated, so the milk will remain cold until it reaches the plant (provided the transport is fast, i.e. short distance or good roads enabling milk to be delivered before the temperature of milk rises above 10? C).

Reception of milk at plant : At reaching plant quality assurance staff of reception lab takes the representative sample of whole milk tanker and analyses it for various parameters as per standards of company. If milk found as per quality norms of company the tanker is weighed and production department staff receive the milk for further processing other wise the sub standards raw milk tanker is rejected.


The primary function of any Milk Procurement System (MPS) is to expedite dairy milk producer?s payroll process. This is accomplished using a complex system that documents the pickup, testing, delivery of milk, and issues payment to producers of milk and those responsible for its transport. In addition to tracing the movement of milk as it is picked up, tested, and transported to the plant, the Milk Procurement System issues checks and records financial information for producers, haulers, and vendors. MPS facilitates the dairy?s milk producer payroll process from beginning to end.


Milk procurement department of any company provides a value-added service to all their milk producers, ensuring that milk of the correct quality is produced and that sufficient raw milk is always available to satisfy company?s needs, through the use of strategies, processes, projects, systems and policy. Procurement teams of companies manage a number of Milk Procurement responsibilities including :

  1. Ensuring that the producers are paid promptly and accurately.
  2. Purchasing raw milk from producers and transporting it to factories effectively and efficiently.
  3. Successful clean milk route development in various new identified areas.
  4. Installation of bulk coolers in the area.
  5. Milk yield improved.
  6. Hygiene practices improvement at all levels of milk production and procurement
  7. Reduction of Bacterial Count of milk.
  8. Advanced training to drivers in the handling of mass milk in case of emergencies.
  9. Trainings to field staff for handling of sample and client.


In Pakistani dairy industries following types of quality assurance system exist to assure the procurement of the best quality raw milk.

  1. First System : Procurement department is responsible for the procurement of good quality raw milk.
  2. Second System :
  3. Quality assurance department support the procurement department for procurement of good quality of raw milk.

First system :

Procurement department is responsible for the procurement of sufficient quantity of good quality milk. Company develops a lab carrying all the testing facilities of raw milk. A procurement representative is present their to check and receive the quality of raw milk from area as per given standard of company.

Benefits of this system :

  1. Fully under control of one department.
  2. Less man power is required.
  3. Less cost to company.
  4. Under this system the objective of procurement staff become more quantity with the good quality.
  5. More amount of volume procured.

Problems with this system :

  1. Monopoly of procurement staff.
  2. Some times non-calibrated glassware used for measuring and testing of milk.
  3. No proper and accurate record maintenance which results into reduction of mal practices at gross root level.
  4. More rejection of raw milk at plant, this contributes towards losses of the company.
  5. Some times in order to avoid the rejection of milk at plant procurement staff himself treat the milk with some kind of adulterant.

Second system :

Quality assurance department is responsible for the procurement of good quality milk, in this system at each main collection center of company. Company develops a lab carrying all the testing facilities of raw milk. A quality assurance representative is present their to check and receive the quality of raw milk from area as per given standard of company.

Benefits of this system :

  1. Substandard milk is rejected at gross root level.
  2. Avoid any un-necessary milk quantity rejection at plant.
  3. Monopoly of procurement staff is abolished at center level.
  4. As the main centers are under quality assurance department, so all the equipments and glassware used for measuring and testing of milk is properly measured and calibrated so chances of fat loss or SNF loss is reduced this ultimately improve company profitability at gross root level.
  5. As all tests are performed at gross root level with accurate glassware, this helps to develop a trust of client on company.
  6. Proper and accurate record maintenance which results into reduction of mal practices at gross root level.
  7. Control of loss at gross root levels.
  8. Quick support of QA staff to procurement staff towards any kinds of improvement issues.
  9. Better control of Hygienic conditions of raw milk handling at gross root level.
  10. This approach gives a relief to procurement staff regarding

Problems with this system :

  1. Expensive as this increase the quality cost.
  2. Create miss understanding between procurement and QA staff.
  3. Under this system in same organization the objective of procurement staff become more quantity and at the same time objective of quality staff become good quality of milk. The lake of harmony between the objectives of staff some times creates company policy issues.
  4. In case of rejection of raw milk at plant, procurement staff will not take the responsibility for its disposal.
  5. In meetings some time members of both department has blaming attitude towards each other.
  6. Some times company needs more qualified staff to be hired for proper running of this system, this will increase the staff numbers to be managed.
  7. This gross root level quality approach some times reduces the volume of raw milk procured by any company.


In Pakistan there are mostly three season of milk which are as under :
Flush Season: (1st Jan to 15th April) During this season there is maximum production of milk in the country.
Lean Season (16th April to 30th July) : Minimum production of milk in the country due to high environmental temperature, less green fodder availability and natural reproduction cycle of animals.
Semi-flush season (1st Aug to 31st Dec) :In this season about 70-80 % milk production in the country.


The milk should be of a “Good” quality and be free from any suspended particles/solids, with a typical specification as detailed below :


Flush Season (1st Jan to 15th April)

Lean Season (16th April to 30th July)

Semi-flush season (1st Aug to 31st Dec)

 Milk availability100 %40 %60 %
1TasteNo objectionable taste, (Sweet, Sour, Bitter, Salty), Clean Fresh Milk Taste
2Smell/AromaNo off odor
3ColorClear white to creamy white
5SNF %

5.5 – 8.5

5.0 – 7.0

5.5 – 8.0
6Fat content %4.5 – 6.54.0 – 5.54.5 – 6.0
7pH @20°C6.70 and 6.856.60 and 6.956.65 and 6.90
8Acidity %0.11- 0.150.08- 0.150.10- 0.15
9Salt % @ 9 % SNF

Max. 0.22

Max. 0.25

Max. 0.23


39.0 – 43.5

39.0 – 43.5

39.0 – 43.5





12Reception Temperature °Cless than 10°Cless than 7°Cless than 8°C


Test Performed at Area Office level:
Sr #Test methodStandardReason
1Organoleptic TestingNo off-flavor and taste of milk

To check the taste and smell of milk to have an idea of freshness and purity of milk.

2Temperature of milk

less than 8?C

To check temperature of milk which give an idea of handling of milk?

3Foreign bodiesNo foreign bodies presentTo check the hygienic quality of milk
4Fat % of milk3.5% MinTo check the fat contents of milk
5Lactometer reading (LR)/SNFMin 16

To determine the lactometer reading (LR) of milk for calculation of SNF by formula and specific gravity of milk.


0.85 to 0.15

Use to determine acid contents of milk which gives an idea of age and handling of milk.

6.65 to 6.95

To check the adulteration of milk with some sort of neutralizers.
To have an idea of the age of milk.

8Alcohol Precipitate Test (APT)60 % -ve

To check the protein heat stability of milk i.e. suitability of milk for heat processing, this test also gives an idea of age and handling of milk.

9Clot on Boiling Test (COB)-ve

This test gives an idea of age and handling of milk.  From this test we confirm that whether milk is completely deteriorated or not.

10Glucose adulteration test-ve

This test is for checking of glucose adulteration in milk.

11Sugar Adulteration test-ve

This test is for checking of Sugar (Sucrose) adulteration in milk.

12Starch-veTo check the starch adulteration in milk
13Detergent test-ve

To check the adulteration of carbonates and bicarbonates in milk.

14Butyro-Refrective Value (BRV)39-43.5

This test is for checking of vegetable oil mixing in milk.

15Urea Adulteration test-veThis test is to check the Urea adulteration in milk.
16Sorbitol Adulteration test-ve

To check the sorbitol adulteration in milk.

18Sodium ContetnsMax 580 ppmThis test gives an idea of sodium contents of milk (from any source) by using ion selective electrode using a sodium meter.
19Ammonium Sulphate-veThis test is for checking of milk for ammonium sulphate adulteration.
20Protein testMin 2.8%This test gives an idea of protein contents of milk.



  1. Aneja, R.P. (1989). World survey of traditional milk products. India and neighbouring countries including the Himalayan region. FAO Manuscript.
  2. F.D. Toor & A.R. Kazmi. Recombination in Pakistan in recombination of milk and milk products. Milk pak limited, Pakistan.pp28.
  3. Milk Processing Guide Series, Volume 1 by FAO/TCP/KEN/6611 Project, Training Programme for Small Scale Dairy Sector and Dairy Training Institute – Naivasha
By : Shahid Hafeez Khan, Quality Control Manager-Field, Engro Foods Limited
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique
Muhammad Ramzan Rafique

I am from a small town Chichawatni, Sahiwal, Punjab , Pakistan, studied from University of Agriculture Faisalabad, on my mission to explore world I am in Denmark these days..

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