IMPROVING milk quality is requisite for good business prospects in Yangon city where there is a growing demand for milk.
Milk provides essential nutrients for growth and development. Since 1978, Myanmar has been farming seven breeds of dairy cattle from France, the Netherlands and Australia; Jersey, Ayrshire, Guernsey, Norwegian Red, and Friesian with the assistance of the World Bank. Friesian and Jersey breeds with high milk yield potentials are primarily farmed. At present, Friesian cattle farming is commonly found.
“If dairy production prioritizes quantity over quality, it will degrade milk quality. The foreign countries maintain milk quality in dairy farming. In Myanmar, the price of milk evaluates on the measurement mostly. Friesian cattle produce a high milk yield but cow milk contains only 3.5 per cent milk fat. Friesian can produce 10 visses (a viss equals 1.6 kilogrammes) while the milk yield of Jersey is estimated at eight visses. Jersey cow has five per cent milk fat. There are taste differences. However, Friesian cattle are primarily farmed here. Milk composition depends on the types of breed although the same feedstuffs are utilized in dairy farming. We have to look forward to the outlook of the future for milk consumers,” said U Min Nyunt Oo, deputy director of the Yangon Region Livestock Breeding and Veterinary Department.
The average lactation period of a cow is 300 days. Total milk yield for 300-day lactation is estimated at five to six visses per day. The highest yield is 13 visses. Therefore, Friesian cattle are mainly farmed in Yangon. Insein and Tarmway dairy markets are the main distributors in Yangon city. New Zealand boosts productive performance and milk composition quality with Kiwi crossing breed of Friesian and Jersey.
There are approximately 16,000 heads of dairy cattle in Yangon Region, with Jersey accounting for 20 per cent and Friesian constituting 80 per cent. To improve milk quality, best breeding cattle should be farmed. The stability of milk prices is correlated with feedstuff cost. The Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Irrigation produces pasture silage (grass and corn silage) for the dairy farmers and makes efforts to directly distribute those pickled pastures to the farmers. — Nyein Thu (MNA)/GNLM