First signs of milk pro­duc­tion re­cov­ery

Fiji Sun - - Business - Source: Pa­cific Reach Lim­ited

There is pos­i­tive news about milk pro­duc­tion in the Fi­jian dairy in­dus­try. The “green shoots” of re­cov­ery can be at­trib­uted in large part to the re­cent 14 per cent rise in the milk price paid to the farmer,” said Si­mon Cole, Chair­man of Fiji Co-op­er­a­tive Dairy Com­pany Lim­ited (FCDCL).

Ini­tia­tive

In ad­di­tion, said Mr Cole, farm­ers have ben­e­fited from the on­go­ing ex­ten­sion ad­vice pro­vided through the Fiji Dairy In­dus­try Devel­op­ment Ini­tia­tive funded by the Gov­ern­ment of New Zealand and con­tin­u­ing sup­port from the Gov­ern­ment of Fiji.

“With the ad­di­tional in­come, farm­ers can at last see a rea­son to in­vest time and fund­ing into their farms; prior to the in­crease, money was not avail­able for devel­op­ment,” he said.

Re­cov­ery

Mr Cole said that re­cov­ery will be slow, but we are see­ing av­er­age pro­duc­tion per cow at 6.5 litres of milk this year, as op­posed to 5 litres in 2018. In­creased pro­duc­tion re­quires a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of the man­age­ment of a cow through Ini­tia­tives are underway to im­prove calf pro­duc­tion and farm­ers must look at ways of bring­ing non-pro­duc­tive cows (not preg­nant) back into pro­duc­tion. Hard­est hit have been the larger sup­pli­ers with lower to­tal pro­duc­tion re­flect­ing the high per­cent­age of cows lost. Smaller farms have not lost so many cows.

Their to­tal pro­duc­tion has not de­clined in 2019.

Losses

“But full re­cov­ery will take time, bovine tu­ber­cu­lo­sis has al­ready re­quired the slaugh­ter of a sub­stan­tial num­ber of cows and, al­though we ex­pect to see a de­cline in these losses in the com­ing years, it could be as many as five years be­fore we can fully con­trol the dis­ease.”

Fiji Co-op­er­a­tive Dairy Com­pany Lim­ited (FCDCL) chair­man Si­mon Cole says that milk pro­duc­tion in Fiji’s dairy in­dus­try is on the mend.

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