Welcome to Dairy Project

Implementing Organization Dairy and Rural Development Foundation (DRDF)
Donor Agency United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
Geographic Focus Nationwide, with main focus on South Punjab
Time Frame July 2011 – October 2016
Beneficiaries Rural population connected to livestock sector

Although Pakistan is the third largest milk producing country in the world, dairy farming practices are old and in dire need of an overhaul. The dairy sector operates mostly in the informal economy and nearly 97 per cent of the milk produced comes from small scale subsistence farming families having only two to three animals. The average milk yield per animal in Pakistan is 6.14 liters which is lower than the regional or world averages. Nevertheless, the overall contribution of the dairy sector to the national GDP is about 11 percent making it the most significant Agriculture subsector for the national economy. The sector presents huge potential for growth. Average milk yield per animal can significantly improve by supporting consolidation of dairy farms, improving efficiency of small dairy farms and by giving small dairy farmers access to progressive farming techniques, breed improvement and other dairy extension services. Such efforts will result in increased incomes of impoverished rural communities.


Considering the dire need for productivity increase and human resources gaps in the fragmented dairy value chain of Pakistan; the Dairy Project was created as a multi-partite collaboration between United States Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Dairy and Rural Development Foundation (DRDF). The Dairy Project aims to increase productivity, production and income of the dairy sector and to help bring more farmers into the formal value chain. The Dairy Project is offering trainings in modern dairy farming practices, breed improvement and extension services. The project-trained breed and health service providers are the new group of entrepreneurs, who are providing essential extension services to small farmers at their door steps. The project activities foster sustainable increase in dairy livestock productivity and boost incomes of small dairy farmers and unemployed youth in Punjab.

Goals and Objectives

The Dairy Project’s interventions are in-line with USAID’s development objectives which is to increase economic empowerment of targeted populations and Government of Pakistan’s focus on the dairy value chains and have contributed to increasing incomes for poor rural households and creating employment opportunities for the rural youth in south Punjab, otherwise vulnerable to violence, extremism and extreme poverty. The Dairy Project’s mission comprises of the following key objectives:

  • To create new jobs and enhance incomes of the most vulnerable rural communities with greater focus on the South Punjab;
  • Train and build the capacities of dairy farmers in best farming practices and introduce innovations resulting in enhancing income by 20 percent per annum;
  • Develop human resource and promote entrepreneurship to provide artificial insemination and basic veterinary services at village level;
  • Organize small rural producers to enable more coordination amongst them to achieve scale of operations to reduce costs and increase incomes;
  • Capacity building of the Dairy and Rural Development Foundation to achieve sustainability in continuing support for the beneficiaries even beyond the life of the project.
Achievements to Date
  • 2,032 Artificial Insemination Technicians (AITs) have been trained and are now providing breed improvement services with an average income of PKR 7,027/- ($70 approx.). Also, 1,638 motorbikes have been provided to the high performing AITs. These AITs are now providing breed improvement services to farmers in over 20,000 villages in Punjab.
  • 5,015 Women Livestock Extension Workers (WLEWs) have been trained and are providing extension services to dairy farmers with estimated earnings of PKR 1524/- ($15) per month. These WLEWs are now providing basic health and nutrition services to farmers in more than 3,000 villages.
  • 9,286 dairy farmers have acquired two-day and four-day trainings on best dairy farming practices and more than 85 percent of these farmers have adopted the best dairy farming practices and reported increase in their milk productivity by 19 percent, which is equivalent to $60 per farmer, per month in incremental income.
  • Silage technique has been transferred to more than 51,000 Dairy farmers in South Punjab through around 300 demonstrations. Around 749 maize silage pits were filled at farm level and 28.7 tons is the average per silo pit, while total tonnage corn silage is 21552 tons.
  • 337 farm managers have acquired one-month trainings to manage large commercial dairy farm setups, or their own farms.
  • More than 6,000 new jobs created for young unemployed rural youth, serving farmers in more than 5,000 villages.
  • More than 250 tehsils reached through TV/Radio campaign on best dairy farming practices on 11 TV channels and 13 Radio channels in 5 different regional languages. 10 street theatre shows conducted, which were attended by 8,952 rural dairy farmers from 540 villages from South Punjab.
  • A successful pilot of 50 cubic meters Bio- Gas plant is installed with collaboration of “Ghousia Milk Cooperative” at Vehari District, with the intent of having a self-contained energy centre that could run the cooperative’s generator and power their milk chiller. Operating 6 hours/days, saving approximately PKR 2300/day for chiller operation, the plant also generates 500 litres of slurry daily as a by-product which is used as fertilizer.

Success Stories

  • “Providing for 11 dependents at a time of rising costs is a daunting task” says Muhammad Rasheed Ahm Read More

  • “If you are committed, hardworking and have a thirst for knowledge then nothing can hinder your succes Read More

  • Bushra Yasmeen belongs to village 769 GB in Pir Mahal Zone, where she lives with six children and her husba Read More

  • Unemployed in 1998, Ali Muhammad left his village and home in Shorkot, Punjab to relocate to Dubai to work as an Read More

  • Dairy farming entrepreneurship can be a daunting initiative for most. For Muhammad Zubair from Tehsil Kamalia, To Read More

  • “Life as a young laborer in Chichawatni, district Sahiwal was always uncertain. I knew my days as a laborer w Read More

  • 21-year old Rahat Parveen’s life appeared to be like a dead-end, after she was forbidden to return to school two ye Read More

  • Mushtaq Ahmad, a dairy farmer from Nawan Chak, Tehsil Shorkot, District Jhang (Punjab) was managing his farm wi Read More

Knowledge Corner