Private companies join Dairy Board’s push to revive milk consumption

– The Gleaner

The Dairy Development Board has got private sector buy-in for its latest drive to revive the industry under a new campaign dubbed ‘Drink Real Milk.’

Its three partners — Seprod, the CB Group through its Nutramix subsidiary, and fertiliser company Newport Fersan Jamaica — will now pump capital and technical expertise into the campaign to increase production and consumption.

The move comes amid several attempts to resuscitate the ailing sector, which up to 1992 saw some 38.8 million litres of milk produced.

Currently, though over 60 million litres of milk and milk substitutes are consumed each year, less than 20 per cent of which comes from Jamaican farmers, according to industry data.

The new initiative aims to overhaul the industry by introducing new and improved technology, new farm management practices and new pasture management, the partners said at the January 28 launch.

Seprod, which owns the largest local dairy producing entity, Serge Island Dairies Limited, has committed to supplying “at least half the cost” of the projected $20 million for the campaign this year, CEO Richard Pandohie told the Financial Gleaner.

The boost to local production will feed into Serge’s own lines, Pandohie said.

Among the issues that have plagued the sector is the unavailability of fodder-or grass-to feed the cows and thereby increase their milk output. To arrest this, the partners said some 2,000 acres have been earmarked for grazing.

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