Only about one‑third of the world's milk production takes place in developing countries which, nevertheless, account for over 70 percent of the world's population. A significant number of these countries have large food deficits, particularly with regard to milk and milk products; over 70 percent of these products have to be imported since satisfactory home production, transportation, processing and distribution facilities are lacking. Worse still, the annual per caput consumption of milk in developing countries amounts to less than 20 percent of that in the developed world.


It is clear that enormous efforts are required to improve the production, handling, processing and distribution of milk and milk products in developing countries and it is the primary purpose of this newsletter to make a small, but hopefully significant, contribution to the process by reporting on relevant developments in this area by two important international organizations, the Meat and Dairy Service (AGAM) of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and the International Dairy Federation (IDF).


It is hoped that this newsletter will stimulate an interchange of information, encourage discussion and engender the development of ideas, all of which are essential elements in the dairy development processus.


Since this is the first newsletter in the series, it will include some basic details about the two organizations involved as well as some retrospective information on activities in the subject area during the last three to four years. Our intention is to publish a newsletter at least once every two years, and this would be regarded as the first positive step towards the establishment of the dairy information works described later in the publication.


1. The Meat and Dairy Service of FAO (AGAM)


The Meat and Dairy Service, represented by a small team of dedicated dairy development experts within FAO, stimulates the promotion, through a coordinated approach, of national and international action to foster production, processing, distribution and marketing of meat and dairy products in the developing world.



Among over 100 projects listed by the Service as a whole, there are some 60 projects related to dairy development, 50 percent of which have been initiated and are controlled by the Dairy Development Group within the Service; this group also has technical responsibility for 12 World Food Programme dairy development projects and provides technical assistance for dairy projects to the FAO Investment Centre Division (TCI).


The work of the Dairy Development Group, which will be referred to more specifically in subsequent paragraphs, is carried out under the following general categories: assistance to governments on dairy development policies and strategies; assistance to governments for the improvement of the quality of dairy products; assistance for milk production and farmers' organizations; assistance for milk handling and preservation; assistance in the preservation of milk by means of village organization units; urban supply studies; integrated dairy development projects; training for each component of the dairy chain; and the establishment of dairy information networks.


More specifically, the Dairy Development Group is involved in the following activities:


-      establishment of a global information database on international prices of dairy products, costs of dairy                  equipment, training facilities available, experiences in dairy development, etc.;

        development of methodologies for the costing of processing at village and milk plant level;

        establishing methodologies and strategies for the creation of milk producers' associations;

        elaboration of comprehensive programmes for sustainable dairy development;

        development of appropriate technologies for raw milk preservation, collection, processing

and marketing;

        establishment of a research network on the processability of different varieties of milk

(goat, sheep, buffalo, camel, etc.);

        providing technical support for the Codex Milk Committee;

         development of guidelines and policies to improve the supply of milk and milk products

to big cities and to rapidly expanding urban populations; collaboration with international organisations (IDF, ILRI, EC, IFAD, WPF, etc.).


The comprehensive work programme described above is accomplished through work in the field; the holding of meetings at various levels, including workshops, seminars and expert consultations; the publication of reports and manuals; and the use of consultants. The results of these efforts are described in greater detail later in the newsletter.


2. The International Dairy Federation (IDF)


The International Dairy Federation is an independent, non‑political, non‑profit organization that was founded in Brussels, Belgium in 1903 on the occasion of the First International Dairy Congress.


Its main objective, "To contribute significantly towards the solution of scientific, technical and economic problems relating to dairying world‑wide", is achieved in three interrelated ways: first, through the continuous exchange of information and experiences among, over 600 dairy experts from approximately 35 countries on more than 200 current topics relating to all aspects of dairying; second, through the holding of various meetings, such as groups of experts, workshops, symposia, seminars, special weeks, congresses, and so on; and third, through the publication of the Bulletin of the International Dairy Federation, incorporating not only major monographs and proceedings of meetings, but also internationally accepted standards of methods of analysis of milk and milk products.


While much of the work of IDF is of general interest to both the developed and the developing world, some of it is of specific interest for developing countries and this was summarized recently in a paper entitled "International Dairy Federation's contribution to dairy development" presented at the seminar on dairy development policy and implementation in Harare, Zimbabwe. Unfortunately, because of financial constraints, only a few developing countries are actual members of IDF and, although proposals have been made on mechanisms designed to facilitate increased membership, they have not so far be implemented.


The main ongoing link between IDF and dairy development is maintained through its group of experts (B34) on dairy technology in countries with a developing dairy industry whose Chairman is Joe Phelan, Chief of the Meat and Dairy Service at FAO. The group already has to its credit the publication of a Handbook on milk‑ collection in warm developing countries in 1990. It is now working actively towards holding a seminar on milk‑based weaning and infant foods scheduled to take place in India in 1996. Furthermore, the idea of publishing the present FAO/IDF Newsletter was that of this group of experts.


Also in the pipeline is a joint programme with FAO, for twinning institutions, cooperatives and control laboratories in IDF member countries with counterpart institutions in countries that have developing dairy industries. This has the twin objectives of establishing national milk quality control programmes in the latter and of encouraging the organization of fellowships and training programmes financed by bi‑ and multilateral donors.


3.       Meetings for dairy development


Inspired perhaps by having held an International Dairy Congress in a developing country for the first time ‑ India in 1974 ‑ IDF, often in close collaboration with FAO, has launched a series of major international seminars on subjects of special interest to countries with developing dairy industries over the last 20 years, most of which were held in the developing countries themselves. These meetings, sponsored by FAO, were attended not only by experts from IDF member countries but also by numerous dairy scientists and technologists from many developing countries who all expressed keen interest in the work of IDF as well as a desire for their countries to become members of the federation. These meetings may be summarized as follows.


(a)      IDF International Dairy Congress, New Delhi, India, 1974

This congress was attended by the largest gathering ever of experts from developed and developing countries who discussed in particular dairy development problems. The choice of India was particularly appropriate for the venue of the congress since it is the home of the largest and one of the most successful dairy development schemes in the world, backed up by technical assistance from FAO.


(b)      IDF Seminar on Dairy Education, FAO, Rome, Italy, 1980

Organized in collaboration with FAO and attended by 79 delegates from 32 countries.


(c)      IDF Seminar on Recombination of Milk and Milk Products, Singapore, 1980

This seminar was attended by 235 delegates from 32 countries and was the first one to

be held under the slogan of "Milk for the Millions".


(d)      IDF Seminar on Quality Assurance ‑ Means for promoting Efficiency in Dairying,

Valdivia, Chile, 1983

Attended by 112 delegates from 15 countries, the great majority of whom were from Latin American non‑member countries of IDF.


(e)     IDF Seminar on Production and Utilization of Ewes' and Coats' Milk, Athens,

Greece, 1985

Attended by 260 delegates from 17 countries, including several from developing countries

and non‑members of IDF.


(f)       IDF Seminar on Appropriate Dairy Technology Transfer for Social and Economic

          Development in East Africa, Nairobi, Kenya, 1987

          This seminar was attended by 200 dairy experts from 33 countries, including the

          following developing countries that were not members of IDF: Cyprus, Egypt, Malaysia,

          Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Sudan, Oman, Yemen and Zimbabwe (now a

          member). Most of these participants were sponsored by FAO.


(g)      International Seminar on Dairying as an Instrument for Progress: the Indian

          Experience, Anand, India, 1989


(h)      XXIII International Dairy Congress, Montreal, Canada, 1990

          Particularly since the XIX International Dairy Congress in India in 1974, the dairying

          problems and interests of developing countries have been discussed increasingly at the

          successive congresses held in Paris in 1978, Moscow in 1982 and The Hague, in 1986.

          However, the congress held in Canada in 1990 was outstanding in that it provided the

          most comprehensive programme ever, with the help of several Canadian donor

          organisations. Attended by over 2000 delegates from more than 50 countries, including

          more than 100 delegates from developing countries, it provided a unique meeting ground

          for dairy experts from the developed and developing worlds. There were special sessions

          relating to developing countries and covering economics and marketing; milk‑ production

          and processing and dairy development in a changing world; as well as various sessions

          on ewes', buffalo's and goats' milks. In addition, the International Development Research

          Centre sponsored a symposium on alternatives for improving traditional dairying in

          developing countries.

(i)       Seminar on Dairy Development in the Caribbean Region, Kingston, Jamaica,

December 1992

Attended by 86 delegates from international organizations and including representatives

from 14 Caribbean countries, this seminar addressed in some depth the economic,

marketing. and organizational issues involved in dairy development in the Caribbean

region. Apart from Caribbean dairy specialists, there were invited speakers from Europe,

India, Latin America and New Zealand.


(g)       International Dairy Congress, Melbourne, Australia, 1994

This congress was attended by 1,500 delegates from 40 countries including a number of developing countries, and again there were several sessions devoted to the interests of dairy development, including Buffalo, sheep and goat milk and Dairying in the tropics and subtropics. The latter included addresses by Dr. Kurien of India on "Why dairying is important to developing nations: the broader dimensions; and by Dr. Candler of the United States on Dairying in developing countries ‑ an economic perspective.


The massive 500‑page volume of brief communications, published by the congress, also included

numerous reports of interest to dairy development.


4.       Recent FAO meetings on dairy development


As an essential element of its planned strategy for dairy development, AGAM has recently organised two important meetings: an FAO expert consultation on dairy development at FAO headquarters in Rome in July 1991, and a seminar on dairy development policy and implementation ‑ sharing of experiences between Africa and Asia, held in Harare, Zimbabwe in July 1993.


FAO was also closely associated with a workshop on indigenous milk products held by the National Dairy Development Board in Anand, India, in January 1991, and with contributions from India, Bangladesh, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan and the Philippines, and with the regional workshop, Changes in the cattle industry to cope with market economy, held in April 1993 in Rapotin, Czech Republic. Papers and reports presented by specialists from five countries and an exchange of information between participants from central Europe gave a realistic view of the potential of the existing cattle industry in Europe. It became clear that restructuring of the cattle industry and creation of the support services for free market agriculture and related dairy and meat industry development were far more difficult tasks than previously thought.


(a)      FAO Expert Consultation on Dairy Development, July 1991


This consultation was attended by six selected experts from different regions of the world, as well as representatives from three donor organizations and FAO regional and headquarters staff.


The extensive subject range and recommendations covered the case for dairy development; organization and management; the role of women in dairy development; education and training; information transfer and communication; the role of donor agencies; project design; dairy development in remote areas; inputs for dairy development; marketing and pricing policies; the role of imported dairy products in dairy development; and quality standards for dairy products.


(b)     Seminar on Dairy Development Policy and Implementation ‑ Sharing of Experiences

between Africa and Asia, July 1993


This important seminar, attended by 57 delegates from 18 countries including 37 from Africa and four from Asia, as well as by representatives from six European countries, the World Bank, ILRI and IDF, addressed the subject under the broad general headings of dairy policies; implementation of dairy development; human resources development and application of appropriate technology in dairy development. Several country papers/case studies were also presented.


Following intensive discussions during the meetings, as well as subsequent group discussions, a series of recommendations was made: the formulation of long‑term dairy development policies with realistic targets for self‑sufficiency; the formation of a national milk' authority; technical cooperation among developing countries (TCDC); the establishment of country models for dairy development implementation; the development of strong support services; the promotion of the use of the Lactoperoxidase system in Africa and Asia; greater emphasis on male animals in future breeding policies based on the more efficient use of better bulls and of heifer distribution schemes; the importance of women's participation and the role of youth; the establishment of regional networks of institutions with the objective of resource sharing in education and training equipment sources and scientific literature/information and the importance of marketing and distribution in dairy development programmes.


Other important aspects raised included the impact of growth in urban populations on milk­ supply; strengthening farmers' organizations; market‑oriented activities with a fair milk pricing policy; and the need for greater emphasis on small‑scale milk processing.


5.       Next FAO dairy development meeting planned for 1996


The next meeting, in this successful series of consultations/seminars to exchange experiences in dairy development is scheduled to take place in Anand, India, which is the focal point for modern Indian dairy development.


6.       Projected IDF/FAO seminar on milk‑based weaning and infant foods, 1996


Immediately following the FAO workshop planned for Anand, it is hoped to organize this seminar. Its programme will be elaborated by Group B34 of IDF, in close collaboration with FAO.


7.       Workshop on strategies for market orientation of small‑scale milk producers and their organizations, Morogoro, the United Republic of Tanzania, March 1995


This workshop was sponsored by FAO on account of a perceived need for the comprehensive review of a dairy sector that has recently undergone crucial changes in East Africa as well as in other developing regions. It is expected to attract senior personnel from both the public and private sectors in different parts of East Africa including Uganda, Kenya, the United Republic of Tanzania, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, and Zambia as well as representatives from international and donor organizations.


The overall theme of the workshop was the promotion of a demand‑driven development of the dairy sector in rural areas. Sessions of the workshop were held on the production of marketable milk; producer organization/cooperatives/associations; milk processing requirements for satisfying the demand; comparative evaluation of dairy marketing systems and the preparation of strategies and recommendations. There was also a field study on linkages and marketing systems to be organized in the Tanga area on the Indian Ocean coast.


8.       International Seminar on the Supply of Livestock Products to Rapidly Expanding Urban Populations, Seoul, Republic of Korea, 16‑20 May 1995, in cooperation with the World Association for Animal Production (WAAP)


It has been estimated that between 19S5 and 2025 the world urban population will more than double from two to five billion. On the African continent alone, the movement from rural to urban areas will be even more dramatic, from 169 to 911 million, while similar urban growth figures are forecast for other regions of the developing world. During the coming years, the work of the Meat and Dairy Service of FAO (AGAM) will focus increasingly on the enormous problems involved in ensuring a safe and sustained supply of milk and meat from rural areas to urban centres.


This seminar addressed the problem comprehensively, with contributions on the situation in China, the Republic of Korea, Asia, sub‑Saharan Africa, Pakistan, Viet Nam, West Africa, Latin America, Japan, Taiwan and India, as well as more global presentations on the supply and demand problems from FAO representatives and international experts.


9.       IDF Seminar on Ewes' and Coats' Milk, Crete, October 1995


As a follow‑up to the seminar on this subject held in Athens, Greece in 1985 and referred to under 3(e) above, it is planned to hold a further seminar in Crete.


10.     The potential for the activation of the Lactoperoxidase system (LPS) for preservation of raw milk in the context of dairy development


The use of substances naturally present in milk to preserve milk under carefully controlled conditions is not a new idea and was first discussed officially at the international level at an IDF expert consultation held in Rome in 1957. Research carried out in Sweden, the United Kingdom the United States, the former Czechoslovakia and other countries has confirmed that the activation of LPS offers perhaps the most promising method for the preservation of raw milk when cooling of milk is neither technically nor economically feasible.


In practice, the method involves activating LPS in raw milk through the addition of a specified amount of thiocyanate, followed by the addition of a specified amount of hydrogen peroxide. The method, which is particularly suitable in countries with a warm climate, is fully inexpensive, safe and applicable at milk collection points, and can prolong the shelf-life of unrefrigerated milk by approximately 3‑4 hours, compared to that of untreated milk, as confirmed by numerous field trials.


Furthermore, a code of practice on the use of LPs for the preservation of raw milk, prepared by IDF at the request of FAO/WHO, was finally approved by the Codex Alimentarius Commission during its 19th session in Rome in July 1991, following earlier clearance by IDF itself and by the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives.


AGAM is taking the lead in promoting the use of this system in view of its great potential field application in FAO projects and is cooperating with Swedish scientific and development institutes in exploring the potential benefits it could provide to milk‑ producers, particularly those­ in remote areas of developing countries.


A regional workshop on raw milk handling and preservation has already been held in Alexandria, Egypt

in September 1994, and a similar workshop is planned to take place in the Caribbean region in September 1995.


11.      First Session of the Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products, FAO, Rome

          November to December 1994


The work of this committee, formerly known as the Joint FAO/WHO Committee of Government Experts on Code of Principles concerning Milk and Milk Products, is one of the most important examples of FAO/IDF cooperation. IDF provides most of the scientific/technical input for the work of the Committee, some of it resulting from collaboration with other international organizations, like the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) and the Assoc­iation of Official Agricultural Chemists of the United States (AOAC), while AGAM, which form provided the technical secretariat, continues to provide technical support.


New Zealand has taken over as host country for the Codex Committee on Milk and Milk Products. Its terms of reference are clear and simple: "To elaborate international codes and standards for milk and milk products within the framework of the Codex Alimentarius and the Code of Principles concerning Milk and Milk Products".


The fact that ten out of the 37 countries represented at the Codex Committee meeting were from countries with developing dairy industries reflects a growing awareness of the need to introduce codes and standards for milk and milk products as early as possible during the process of dairy development.


During its first session, the Codex Committee considered, inter alia, 11 proposed draft revised standards for milk products; four draft standards for milk products; 35 proposed draft revised individual or group standards for cheeses; a draft standard for fat spreads being elaborated by the Codex Committee on Fats and Oils; a proposed draft code of hygienic practice for uncured/unripened cheese and ripened soft cheese being elaborated by the Codex Committee on Food Hygiene; methods of analysis and sampling established by the IDF/ISO/AOAC Group on Methods of Analysis and Sampling; and other matters concerning milk products that had been referred via IDF from the last former Joint FAO/WHO Committee meeting.


The full report of the proceedings of this important meeting is available from the Codex Alimentarius Commission, FAO, Rome.


12.     CIRVAL is born!


CIRVAL is the acronym for Centre international d'études et de recherches sur la production et la valorisation des laits de brebis et de chèvres which, in English, corresponds approximately to the International Study and Research Centre on the Production and Utilization of Ewes' and Goats' Milk.


The idea to establish this Centre stems from the IDF Seminar on Ewes' and Goats' Milk and Milk Products held in Athens, Greece in September 1985, where a need was expressed for a centre to disseminate information on, and to coordinate research in ewes' and goats' milk and milk products. The French Government, the EC and CIHEAM have decided to set up a centre, with FAO technical assistance in Court, Corsica. Its initial task will be to provide an information dissemination centre, operating with the latest electronic means available. FAO is providing the centre with a professional officer under a trust fund agreement. It will draw its information from both national and international sources and will provide a number of outputs, such as newsletters, bulletins, etc. The new centre will obviously be of considerable interest to a number of developing countries where ewes' and goats' milk and milk products form an important segment of the dairy economy.


13.     (a) Recent AGAM publication: Small‑scale dairy farming manual


This exceptional well‑illustrated six‑part manual of 1100 pages has been produced by the FAO Regional Dairy Development and Training Team for Asia and the Pacific, Chiangmai, Thailand and the Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific in Bangkok. Volume 1 covers dairy technology; volume 2, dairy husbandry; volume 3, dairy animal feeding and nutrition; volume 4, dairy animal breeding and milk recording; volume 5, dairy animal diseases and their control; and volume 6 dairy farm accounting and dairy farming organizations.


        (b) Dairy development in a recent issue of the World Animal Review


A recent issue (79/1994/2) of the quarterly journal World Animal Review published by FAO devoted almost entirely to dairy development, including articles by J. Phelan on "Experience on ­dairy development"; A.A. Okwenye on "Rehabilitation of the dairy industry in Uganda", A. Banerjee on "Dairying systems in India"; M. Uotila and S.B. Dhanapala on "Dairy development through cooperative structure"; N. Dieckmann on "The integration of social gender issues in smallholder dairy production"; J.C. Lambert and A. Soukeal on "Amélioration de la technologie du fromage tchoukou au Niger"; V.D. Mugdal and C.L. Arora on "Fries\... project: present status and expectations for the future"; S. Rangnekar et al. on "A study on women in dairy production".


14.     Dairy information centres and networks


It is appropriate that the last item in the first issue of this newsletter should be devoted subject that essentially provides the underlying source for everything described so far.


Appreciating the vital importance of dairy information flow and networks for dairy development,

and the lack of information sources and networks in most developing countries, AGAM commissioned three consultancy reports on different aspects of this subject during the last ten years.


The first of these reports provided guidelines for the establishment of an information service support meat and dairy development in developing countries. It describes a series of measures designed to provide AGAM staff with an efficient and cost‑effective information service, using computer hardware and software facilities already available within FAO, as well as databases, which will benefit not only AGAM staff in Rome but also promote a two‑way flow of information and help to create an information network; this could operate not only between FAO projects but also between FAO and non‑FAO projects on meat and dairy development.


The second report contains a proposal for the establishment of a dairy information network for Africa which may also be used as a guideline for establishing a similar network in Asia. This was based largely on the First report as well as on discussions that took place during the Seminar on Dairy Development Policy and Implementation in Harare, Zimbabwe in July 1993 described in 4(b) above).


It contains a detailed plan for setting up and operating a dairy information network for Africa making full use of the FAO‑AGRIS database management system. The network would consist of national/regional dairy information centres providing information input to the network via AGRIS system at three levels of sophistication depending on the expertise/staff/hardware/software available. AGAM in Rome would act as the coordinating centre for the network, building composite dairy database as a spin‑off from the AGRIS, which would be based not only on input of the national databases, but also on additional information input, such as non‑FAO donor projects, CD‑ROMs, etc. The information contained in this database would be distributed on aregular intervals among the national dairy information centres.


Additional coordination responsibilities of AGAM would include the maintenance of a small dairy document library, the publishing and distribution of dairy development newsletters (such as this one) at regular intervals, and the organization of meetings/workshops among participants in the network.


The third report containing a proposal for an Asian dairy information network is based essentially on the same elements mentioned above. However, the report includes interesting details on some ongoing information activities in Asia and on the different institutions involved and presents a detailed project document for the phased implementation of an Asian dairy information network with full costings.


15.     An international dairy CD‑ROM?


The advent of CD‑ROM (Compact Disc‑Read Only Memory) during the last 15‑20 years has added an exciting new information transfer medium to facilitate the dissemination of information. CDs, which have revolutionized the music industry, have been adapted for storing bibliographic information and possess a vast storage capacity ‑ 690 megabytes of information per disc, representing about 200,000 A4 typed pages of fully indexed and formatted information. They are of particular relevance to developing countries, which often have poor telecommunications facilities, because they can be "read" on relatively simple and inexpensive hardware, i.e. a computer terminal, a disc drive and (preferably) a printer.


In a recent report to IDF, a proposal is made for the creation of an international dairy CD‑ROM consisting. of the Bulletin of the International Dairy Federation and several other dairy information projects. Such an updatable international dairy database could provide an instant library to assist dairy development in developing countries and the proposal was received with considerable interest at a round table discussion during the recent international congress in Melbourne, Australia in September 1994.


It remains to be seen whether this far‑reaching proposal will generate the necessary interest/funding required. There is little doubt that an international d airy CD‑ROM, apart from its obvious potential market in the developed world would form an essential element in the dairy information systems and networks described in 14 above.




Having read this first newsletter, you may wish to make suggestions as to the information you

would like in future issues. Your comments would be most welcome. They should be addressed to: Joe Phelan, Chief, Meat and Dairy Service (AGAM), FAO, Viale delle Terme di Caracalla, Rome, Italy.