Australia and Thailand’s partnership to grow the dairy sector
1 May 2018
As part of ongoing cooperation with Thailand to strengthen the dairy industry, Thailand’s Department of Livestock Development (DLD) and Australia’s Dairy Australia and Department of Agriculture and Water Resources (DAWR) recently hosted a five-day workshop on dairy herd nutrition from 23 – 27 April in Pak Cong, Nakorn Ratchasima province.
In the past week, an Australian expert on dairy herd nutrition led a workshop that combined in-class training sessions and field visits to local dairy farms for Thai DLD officials. Many participants were young officers who work directly with Thai dairy farmers across the country. The workshop focussed on improving understanding of dairy herd nutrition and feeding management, especially how this supports optimal farm productivity, while maintaining the health and welfare of the herd. Participants were also trained on how to develop and formulate total mixed ration in dairy farming systems.
The demand for milk and other dairy products in Asia, particularly in Thailand, is growing steadily. In 2017, Thailand’s dairy consumption was estimated at 1.2 billion litres, an increase from 930 million litres in 2010. Thailand, with one of Southeast Asia’s largest dairy industries, is working on building its dairy capacity to better respond to growing market demands. Australia and Thailand face shared challenges associated with tropical and subtropical dairy industries and great potential to learn from each other.
Feed management and herd nutrition are key areas of potential improvement for the Thai dairy industry, as they influence production, health and reproductive performance of dairy herds. Building on the experience of DLD officers and considering what has been learnt in Australian tropical and subtropical dairies, the workshop aimed to strengthen DLD’s capacity to work with local dairy farmers.
For over a decade, Australians and Thais have been working together, government to government, industry to industry and people to people, to strengthen Thailand’s dairy industry. Our long-established partnership in the dairy sector has complemented Thai local production to meet the growing demand.
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