Dairy Farming in Pakistan

You will know why dairy farming is a good business, and what to look out for when you are starting out, because I am going to share some of my experiences (I have been involved directly in dairy farming for the last almost-two years).

dairy farming in Pakistan

Dairy Farming is a very hot topic in Pakistan. A lot of seasoned and would-be entrepreneurs have already jumped onto the Dairy Farming bandwagon in Pakistan, and even more so like to talk about getting into dairy farming. But have you asked yourself this question, “why start a dairy farm?”

Why Start A Dairy Farm

Yours truly have been working on the dairy farming project since June 2009. My interest was pretty much ‘academic’ at first; just knowing how the business and the animals operate. It was after almost a year of travelling in and around Punjab, meeting countless number of people in the field, discussing and debating with some very qualified consultants and breeders, that I decided to dip my toes in this project.

I was interested in quite a few facets of Dairy Farming:

  1. The Business Model: Dairy farming has a very unique business model, and no other business has the capability of multiplying its assets while still producing revenue. Remarkable.
  2. The Current Situation: One of many lessons that Richard Branson has taught me is that you should get into a business where you think you can do better. Dairy farming, I knew, had a very, very large room for improvement.
  3. A Very Solid Demand: A lot of businesses and entrepreneurs would consider a ‘demand’ for something a good enough reason to get into any project. But for me, dairy farming is not only the demand of the market, but also a need. People need healthy, quality milk (and meat). It fits in with the idea of for-profit philanthropy where I stand a chance of actually helping people out, and earning prayers as well as profits. Now that’s an inspiration!
  4. Super Integration: This was not vertical integration as much as it was super integration. I already have two independent projects, one agriculture farming and the other is milk supply within Lahore, Alhumdulillah. The dairy farm has the potential of sitting in very nicely between the two, and providing wholesome integration. Although integration of any two businesses, much less three, is a pain in the neck (amongst other body parts), dairy farming provides me with the perfect long-term inspiration for working on these three projects!

Warning: Know This Before You Start Dairy Farming

Most of the things people say, they just say them without much thought. They’d discourage you from doing anything different. This should not stop any half-decent starta from doing and starting different projects, of course. Having said that, following are the main points – so far – that should be considered when starting your own dairy farm:

1. It is a long term project.

There are no two ways about it. The time when you actually start seeing profits, IF a lot of things go right, is at least three years, usually five years. If you start taking out profits from it before three years, be prepared to inject more money in to it afterwards. But the upside to this remarkable business model is best explained by the following example that I frequently give to my friends and would-be entrepreneurs:

  • I start a shoe shop, selling shows. You start a dairy farm, selling milk.
  • After three years, if both of us do well in our businesses, I’d be richer than you.
  • After six years, I’d have five branches all over the city, and will still be richer than you. You’d have great cash flows but you will find it hard to beat my retail outlets.
  • Ten years later, it won’t matter how good I am doing, you will be much richer than me, in terms of assets, and most importantly, in terms of cash in hand.
  • After 10 years, no business seem to even come close to the almost logarithmic growth of a dairy farm.

So if you can train yourself to actually think slow and steady, rather than fast and wobbly, then dairy farming is definitely something to consider.

2. The Most Important Factor is Currently the Hardest

The hardest part of setting up a dairy farm is the procurement of good-quality, high-yielding, environment-hardened animals. This is also the most important activity for an owner of a dairy farm.

You can go for imported cows, but I did not and I recommend that you don’t either.

A lot of people will tell you that you shouldn’t because they are expensive. I want you to know that imported cows are not expensive. If you are paying 140,000 (PKR) for a cross-bred cow, then paying 180,000 for an imported cow does not make the cow ‘expensive expensive’, it just makes it ‘relatively expensive’. And your target is not to increase the number of heads, but to increase the number of liters of milk. So an imported cow averaging 25 to 30 liters per lactation is much better than a cross-bred cow averaging 14 to 18 liters per lactation. The ROI is just plain and simple and you should stop listening to people who tell you otherwise.

But that’s not the reason why you should not get imported cows. The number one problem with imported cows is that they are unable to withstand the blast of heat of the Pakistani summers. Setting up the right infrastructure is essential, but that is not the only thing that you’d have to look into. There is disease and the very little margin of error that the imported cows give to you and your management.

I would suggest you do what I am doing; find good-quality locally bred cows, make sure that your dairy farm shed and cooling infrastructure is very much in place and then run the farm for at least a year to gauge how well your infrastructure (shed, cooling etc) is handling your locally-bred cows.

But that brings me back to the main point: finding high-quality locally bred cows is the hardest thing you’d have to do. It is also the MOST IMPORTANT thing for any dairy farm. As I have repeated this repeatedly (!!), a dairy farm’s main function is to procure and breed good-quality cows. The milk (and meat) is a by product of that main function.

So be prepared to hunt down good animals wherever you can find them. I remember travelling a total of 2000 kms plus, by road, all over Punjab, in one week, just to see and meet cow breeders. I didn’t pay half as much attention to the shed that I was constructing, or even the silage pits that were being prepared at the time, because purchasing the right animals is that one 20% activity that gives more than 80% of the result (if you are not aware of the wonderful 80/20 principle and how it applies to everything I talk about here, do read up on it by clicking here)

3. Finding the right people

Finding the right person to manage your dairy farm is also something to pay VERY close attention to. Stealing milk is very easy. If you do not trust the person who is managing the farm, then that’s a losing proposition. You should pray that God helps you find that person. You can also start with a solid attitude of trust, of reward and of accountability. I can write quite a few things on how to deal with people, because that is ALL of this is about, but suffice it to say for now, that one of the hardest things to do in dairy farming – just like in any other business – is to find the right people to manage and carry your dairy farm forward.

Details of who’s who and how many people should do what activity, those things are not the scope of this article and may be covered/posted later, God willing.

Finding technical help like that of vets and professional consults for animal feeding etc is NOT a problem, especially here in Pakistan. That is again one of the benefits of dairy farming, that the infrastructure that only a government can provide, is ALREADY IN PLACE in Pakistan. Sure there are problems, but it is good enough for you to not complain and get some work done.

###

This is just a run down of my thoughts on dairy farming and some – just some – of the pitfalls that you should look out for. By God’s Grace, my dairy farm has been operational for a about 4 months now and I am happy that I have started this business.

God guide and bless us all. Good luck to you in your conquests and queries.

NOTE:We now have a community DEDICATED to Dairy Farming! I have started a small forum site that we all can use and share our experiences AND ask for help! Please click here to check it out because you will find a lot of help, God willing.

Update June 2012:

Thanks to the overwhelming response and feedback on this post, I am happy to report that the dairy farming guide is available for download.

Dairy Farming Guide by Momekh AD

A lot of people who read these free resources and comment and meet me etc do not buy the eBook and I don’t want to put any sort of pressure on you.

But those who have bought the eBook have very good things to say about it, by God’s Grace. I thank you and wish you all the best.

To know more about the Dairy Farming Guide, please click here. Thanks. And God bless.

If you are interested in learning more about creative self employment, living a life of adventure, attaining financial freedom and wholesome living, please do subscribe to LifeETC.

 

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506 thoughts on “Dairy Farming in Pakistan

  1. zafar

    I have read your all fruitful tips.I am wonder that you can,t tell us the right place where we can find our required cattle.Its mean,we don;t have any reliable breeder farm in pakistan ,I think people are catching cows from ” MANDI ” and lotting the customres.Is it true.New comer cannot find the room in dairy farm

    Reply
    1. AHMAD BILAL CH

      u r right Zafar, Mandis mostly have cows which people want to get rid of due to low milk or some sickness. In my experience, u shud only buy first calving calves from Mandi, that too after careful checking by a vet. Breeding is not very profitable, so there r not many breeders, but there are some. Tell me which area are you from, and I might be able to guide u.
      BILAL CH

  2. Mohammad Zeshan

    Cool very nice information you have put here.Thanks for this effort and info.
    For the startup this is very helpful.

    Reply
  3. Rafaqat Ali

    I am glad to see how educated friends are helping each other on this forum : Simply amazing effort . I am planning to start up dairy farm as well , I am based in Amsterdam , and planning to move back to Pakistan after setting up some reasonable source of income .
    I have 25 acres of land available near sargodha , I want to start small as i am out of capital . Please suggest me for 25 mixed breed cows , how much minimum capital i must have before i think to start :-) ?
    I have no shed but a simple dera system, would that work with these cows or i must build a separate shed for these cows?
    Looking forward to hear from you , Please provide your mobile number so i can contact you for further assistance , I would really appreciate it .
    Regards:
    Rafaqat Ali

    Reply
    1. Mohammad Zeshan

      He already post the price for cross breed cows RS 14,0000 estimated…Now count the cows purchase cost.Count ur expense for construction…Before doing this visit 3-5 shed and u can find much info from their.

    2. AHMAD BILAL

      Nice to hear from another fellow from Sargodha. I myself have a small setup in Sargodha. The advantage of owning the land is that u can save a hell lot of cost. Make medium level infrastructure without overly spending on it. Dedicate 6 acres of land to the farm for fodder. Getting good farm workers is the most important thing, no matter if u have to pay double for them. Last but not the least, choose animals very carefully.

  4. Imran

    Sir plz guide me the procedure how to import the cattle from abroad I am very interested in dairy farming

    Reply
    1. AHMAD BILAL

      I suggest u dont go for imported cattle if u r new to this. They r sensitive and u can easily go into loss. Start from cross breed.

  5. maan

    go for neli bori and pure sahiwal nasal cows

    if u dont buy so go for a bachras its easy avaiable 30 to 50 thousand rupess

    Reply
  6. Muhammad Anwar

    Dear Momekh,
    Your blog is such a helpful article on net, which gives too much information about dairy farming specially, ” finding the high quality locally bred cows, as well as, the right people to manage the farm”.
    About 10 years back, i was attached with this business as an supervisor to handle a cattle farm at Karachi. Thereon, I gained lot of experience regarding dairy farming.
    Having a small piece of agriculture land at my native village in Dist.Buner of K.P.K. I wish to set up a small dairy farm of 6 cows. I myself searching for an sound investor who can invest with me for a big dairy farm.
    Hope you will guide me about the same.

    Reply
  7. Ali Ahsan

    Its really informative I m in England right now but I have plan to come Pakistan and start this dairy business

    Reply
    1. Waqas

      hello Ali ,

      i would like share my view and experience i am computer engineer having a 12 year of Experience in Computer filed and at end i am conclusion is that business is gud then job now i searching in different field poultry, ostirch and finally click the live stock we are working to produced meat not milk it called the calf fattening farm in this farm we produced the Quality Meat , Export Quality Meat which is check and passed throught all quality processes i also suggest you to search about fattening farm instead of dairy farm

    2. Zahid Raza Ch.

      Dear Waqas
      can u provide more detail about “calf fattening farm”. I’m from Gujrat and already running small dairy farm and very much interested in calf fattening farm.
      with best regards
      Zahid Raza ch.

  8. Yasir BAshir

    Dairy Farming is Expensive or most caring work in field .
    For Example If you buy good cow whose milk is !5 20 liter the cost of those cow round about 2 lac so if u buy 20 cows 40 lac required 4 million its huge amount and Disadvantage if your business not Give output then u lost all the money and huge money

    Reply
  9. muhammad umer warraich

    dear sir…
    i need a loan for my dairt farm….can you tell .from where i can get this loan..thanks

    Reply
  10. zEESHAN

    Hi ..
    Quiet an informative blog brother keep up the good work. I will be kicking off my project i.e Dairy Farming. in couple of months time. I would be going with locally bred as a I believe you would probably make less margins but it would give you a relatively safer start.
    The only major issue that I see which may become a pitfall going forward would be load sheding. Given you are trying to run the farm on commercial basis you would need to store milk, have spray booths to work in peak weather, milking parlour, showers etc.. A backup generator would kill the margins out given the rising fuel costs…any advise on that would be highly appreciated.

    Reply
  11. Shoaib

    I just started a small sheep farm at Jhelum. Great article… Yep, I agree that choosing the right person for the job is the key to success in every business.
    But the sad thing is that We have still not been able to get that kind of a person and are praying that ALLAH help us get a right person…
    Anyways keep up the good work…

    Reply
  12. Kamran Kazmi

    I am planning to initiate a dairy cum livestock farm at Khairpur Mir’s & Karachi simultaneously. I want to be in touch with you. My Cell No is 0333-7586276.

    Reply
  13. muhammad saleem

    Dear sir ,i want to start farm of bufello calf for thiswhat you can suggest me please revert me on my e mail thanks
    saleem khan

    Reply
  14. Shahbaz Malik

    Sir i am farming fro last 4 years with imported holsteins and it is possible to make the farm profitable with imported cattle only….

    regards…

    Reply
  15. RAHIBBHAN

    Kindly sir i want to start the dairy farming in the Moro City district Naususero Feroze Sindh province their is summer is maximum tempeture is 49 degree and i have 4000 thousnad square feet plot so plese help me . How can i strart the dairy farming with unique model and with 5.00 million cost and which kind of animals i can purchase cow and other here no cow milk but other

    Reply
  16. saeed anwar

    Dear Muhammad Khan,
    Thanks for sharing your hard earned experiences on this proj.I had already learnt about your venture in this field and known your name” Momekh”,but could not contact.Your candid opinion about procurement of locally bred cows has fall in with me.And it happened at a very apt time when some of the companies in Milk line were rendering compelling advice to go for import of either HF or HFJ. But i donot have much spare rokker to spend but to show off.
    I am just equipping my self to pursue my dream,if God willing,but in hand projs are to be accomplished first to also make the farm automated,InshaALLAH.
    With regards,
    saeed

    Reply
    1. Momekh Post author

      Thank you for your kind words, Saeed.
      It boils down to the budget too, yes. Going with cross-breds was a decision based not on money though. It was to train myself and the people who were at the farm, to take care of the animal. As I mention in detail in the Dairy Farming Guide, the cross breds have a higher margin of error. Cross breds are obviously not as profitable as a well-maintained HF farm for example, but it survives on its own inshAllah.

      Hope this answers few of your questions, friend.

  17. Ali Raza

    I have 50 acer land in Jhelum near river Jhelum how I can start this business, and also I have 4 acer in Lahore one acer is with boundary wall please help me regarding this business and main thing money I don’t have.

    Reply
  18. Syed Asghar Mustafa

    Mr. Mehmood Khan please tlle write now, Iam looking information about dairy afrmining. Some question to you give me ansewer.
    1) business stared with woh many cows?
    2)what is the life of one cow in dary business?
    3) my need Rs.125,000/- per month with loan istallment kindly advoice me this good me i started this business with loan?
    4) location of my business in Karachi.
    Kindly give answer my question as soon as posible

    Reply
  19. babarwaqas

    i need to be start cattel farm for meat so what we do for that who one provide us cattel for meat we want to prepare for EID and others time too specialy for eid so how can we start and where i get my require animals i want to start that work ase try minimum of arrangements if i feel its realy profits me than i can invest more so please guide to me what i do i have a farm house and agricultre farms so guide to me for my good business

    Reply
  20. GHULAM MUSTAFA

    Sir, your essay on dairy farm is good. I want to start it with 4 to 5 cows. How much amount is required for starting this business. Would you like me to guide?

    Reply
  21. Imran Yasin virk

    Dear sir, You’re views and exprence is very important and valuable for us like me who is interested in dairy farm.

    Reply
  22. Saaad

    To do business you need a commercial brain ………. funds are secondary things…..

    i started with only PKR 150,000 now i own 30 animals in 3 years…..

    dedication and commitment…………… thats what you need…

    Reply
    1. Muhammad Irfan Habib

      Dear Saaad

      Can you please bit more expand on your dedication and commitment..would be interesting to know you strategy how you have acheived 30 animals in just 3 years time and with a very low investment..

      Irfan

  23. awais asadullah

    Dear’s ,
    as per my understanding information’s are summarized because Dairy Farming is my family business from decades , its not so easy how is it explained because on few lines it shows a positivity that dairy farming is good business and more over in few lines its written that to find a good quality animal & people it is an hardest job , because with passion you will try to enter in different places without having any kind of friends it is dangerous specially know a days so just look up in cities or villages near by cities avoid entering in KACHA”S it is dangerous and to get good quality animals contact live stock professionals so they will arrange good quality animals , Know for trusted personnels work hard ? it is questionable know a days this is very difficult .

    Reply
  24. Muhammad Faisal

    First of all thank you for providing great contents online, I think this is one of the best source of info related to dairy farm business. I learned a lot from the contents and wanted to explore a bit more. I am contemplating to start a small to medium size modern dairy farm business but I lack education/experience in this field. I need to know

    1. Land requirement/location (I am evaluating 4-6 Kanals near Islamabad)
    2. Breed of animals and will it be Cows or Buffaloes
    3. Feed (grow your own Vs buying from the market)
    4. Essential equipment and staff.
    5. Building the Shed & milking parlour
    6. Last but not the least, selling milk (Gawala’s Vs the milk shops Vs the door to door delivery)

    I would dearly love an advise on how to start this project.

    Reply
  25. asim

    information given is very beneficial,but where to get good animals from southern punjab.Kindly help me out as i am running a dairy farm but difficult to find good breed.Thanx

    Reply
  26. Aamir Rai

    Dear brothers,
    Dairy farming now a days has become a bit difficult and ignored by the Government side. Milk doesn’t carry any good price in the market. Milk collecting companies like Nestle, Olpers, Millack etc are offering very low prices which don’t even meet the expenditures of your dairy farm. Some thing must be done to raise the milk price and reduce immense profit stolen by the middle man/companies from Dairy farmers. Government is sleeping on this issue and will keep doing it unless woken up by force. So think over it give your views focusing on this issue without wasting any more time. Some via media must be found otherwise people in this business are thinking on other lines and this is true.

    Reply
    1. Muhammad Irfan Habib

      Dear Aamir

      We can not force big players to raise the milk price .. its impossible …
      what is alternative? we need to reduce our cost of production…cost per litre…..
      Dairy in PAK is not subsidised like USA where price is set every month so farmers are relaxed that they will get a confirm price. In Pakistan,we are following US style farming and respect US genetice that have been designed for high input/high output and their reproduction is just BAD.
      In NZ, our dairy industry is not subsidised and our genetice are more profitable that produce low cost per litre.

      Genetics are the most important component in your dairy business, go for a profitable cow not for the cow that produce more milk but left less margin.

      e.g if a big cow producing 30 litres of milk needs 25 litres to cover its cost and left 5 litres net margin, whereas a small size cow producing 20 litres milk need 10 litres to cover its cost and left 10litres net margin, WHICH IS A PROFITABLE COW?

  27. Awais Ahmed

    Salam Alikum

    Can somebody please tell me how much money will be enough to start dairy farming at this time. Will be much appreciated.

    Reply
  28. Muhammad Camran

    Asalm-o-alaikum
    it is so pleasant to know that Pakistan has all the
    youth who want to do , good for fellow pakistanies. im really
    impressed by the study , and the research you guys have done .

    i have bought this E-Book its really informative… may ALLAH JEE give reward to Mr.Momekh for this help…..
    i m interested in opening a Dairy Farm… but have no experience but inshALLAH ALLAH jee help me as do always.. so we all who r getting to this industry will get success and do better for our Pakistan……..!
    jazakALLAH

    Reply

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