Dairy farmers are at higher risk of COVID-19?
Pakistan being one of the largest producers of milk in the world, as the dairy sector making 11 percent of its GDP, the sector is in a dire situation due to COVID-19. But we all know that the Pakistan dairy sector is highly unsystematic and unchecked. Where raw and loose milk count over 90% of the total milk sold in Pakistan. Despite being among the world’s top milk producers, Pakistan is not appreciable dairy exporters. So, we think that our country’s dairy sector will not witness the fallout from the deadly virus.
On the other hand, most of our supply of chain of milk relies on hundreds of thousands of people delivering milk door to door in most often poor hygiene conditions. According to the renowned dairy industry estimate, about 100,000 people deliver milk to millions of houses in Pakistan. Moreover, our dairy parlors are also poorly regulated. The complete shutdown will increase risks in supply chain disruption; otherwise, there is more risk to get infected by this virus. In rising Coronavirus cases, the Punjab Food Authority (PFA) has thrown away at least 5000 liters of contaminated milk in March, 2020 only.
So in such a situation, the packaged milk, specifically ultra-high temperature (UHT) milk (which is non-perishable) was an important option to consider.
Here, we also wanted to suggest our dairy farmers to keep social distancing and also take necessary precautions while milking a cow by hand or machine.
- Wash hands with soap before and after milking.
- Make sure your all equipment is clean and disinfected
- If you have a milking parlor do clean it with standard detergents.
- Make sure your delivery persons wear a mask and gloves while delivering milk to customers.
- Spray disinfectant at your dairy farm.