Posted by: Administrator | 15 January, 2008

President at Inauguration of Nestle Milk Processing Plant

President’s Address at the Inauguration of Nestlé Milk Processing Plant

Governor Punjab General Khalid Maqbool, Chief Minister Punjab Pervez Elahi, Federal Minister for Industries Jahangir Khan Tareen, Mr. Peter Bebek, CEO and Chairman of Nestlé, all honorable ministers, distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen.

It is my proud privilege to be here for the inauguration of Nestlé’s Milk Processing Plant. I was told that this is the largest plant in Asia and the largest collection center in the world. I would like to congratulate the management of Nestlé for trusting and investing in Pakistan and this way they are contributing towards poverty alleviation. Nestlé is already a well-known brand name everywhere in Pakistan and now they are expanding even more in dairy. We congratulate you for your excellent performance in Pakistan.

Ladies and gentlemen, we all know that Pakistan has an agro-based economy and it is our backbone. Therefore, we have to mainly concentrate on agriculture and on livestock for poverty alleviation and job creation leading to the growth of our economy. The area of dairy happens to be one of the important areas to address the issues in rural areas of Pakistan. When I went to Australia and New Zealand I specially visited their dairy farms and noticed that there was a huge difference between their environment and ours. They were holding farms of 500 or even more cattle. We have one or two cows or buffaloes in every household, one or two of them. So our potential is distributed in every household. This certainly needed a different strategy than Australia, New Zealand or any other country could have followed because they have larger holdings of cattle. We needed to adapt our dairy requirements according to our own environment.

They say, Pakistan is fourth largest milk producer in the world. We also happen to be having I think excellent quality fruits and vegetable in the world. But it is our misfortune that we have ignored value-addition and resultantly do not have production of milk, cheese and butter in exportable quantities. We do not do food and fruit processing either. I think now the Government policy is very clear. With our economic revival we need to address issues of poverty alleviation and job creation. Also we need to do value-addition in order to sustain the growing economy of Pakistan. Government is taking several new initiatives. Talking of livestock only, we have a new policy which has proved in principle and addresses in broad or legal framework of facilitating livestock. We have also established two private sectorled companies. One is Livestock and Dairy Development Board and the other is Pakistan Dairy Development Company. These two will facilitate and increase the pace of development in livestock and dairy sector. We have also initiated microcredit schemes to provide loans to small farmers. As I said earlier we had to adapt our system. In this respect, we distributed potential of Pakistan’s dairy. We needed a proper system from collecting milk from the doorsteps of individuals and bring it to chillers at some central points. This is where Nestlé has led the way. I know many other companies have joined Nestlé and they are also doing well. There is a network of thousands of chillers especially around Punjab and it also is developing around Sindh. We are trying to expand this network of chillers to other provinces of Pakistan as well. The chillers are not costly because now they are being produced in Pakistan and available in different sizes. This industry would flourish and common man can contribute towards its expansion.

I would recommend you, brothers and sisters, to avail loan facilities and setup chillers. The average milk production of cows in Pakistan is 5 liter whereas in European countries it is 50 liters. If you improve on this production to even 15 liters, you can earn 3-4 times more. It is easy and that is why we are encouraging “Embryo Transfer Technology” and “Artificial Insemination.” You should understand that you have to improve your cattle’s breed. It is more profitable because with Artificial Insemination you would get better quality cow breed at a cost of Rs. 30 only and with healthier cows you would get more meat i.e. double advantage. We are trying to spread this network all over Pakistan. It is speedily increasing in Punjab. Spread this word to everybody. This is a way forward. Unless we stop our old practices and accept new ideas, we would not be able to achieve success. In Okara when I inaugurated Embryo Transfer Center, I observed that there is automatic water distribution as compared to milkmen who have water buckets often dirty and have mosses. This negatively effects cow’s milk production. In the center they have a simple technique, taps are set and the cows drinks fresh from them. All this needs to be learned.

I am glad that Nestlé in collaboration with UNDP is starting training of lady workers. These trained lady workers would visit rural areas and teach the women there methods of how to look after their cows so that their production increases, their weight is more and when you sell them you would get more money. These are the strategies that we have to follow. We have to incorporate new ideas so that we do not lag behind. Our 60% population is in the rural areas and this is my message to all of them. Ladies and gentlemen, it is my privilege to be here as this project is inline with Government policies and strategy for poverty alleviation and helping poor in the rural areas of Pakistan.

I will end by thanking Nestlé for coming in a bigger way, for trying to educate and help reduce poverty in Pakistan and thus in the world. This happens to be one of the Millennium goals of US. The developed courtiers like yours are contributing 0.7% of their GDP towards ODA for poverty eradication and improving the social sector in the world. So by investing here you are directly assisting US program around the world. My gratitude to you is because in doing so through this venture you are assisting towards addressing and striking at the root causes of extremism and terrorism i.e. poverty and illiteracy.

Thank you very much for coming to Pakistan.

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