China's dairy industry has huge room to develop as more and more Chinese people become aware of the benefits of consuming milk and milk products.
The country should encourage farmers and companies to raise more dairy cows to produce more raw milk because inadequate supply to date has restricted the development of the industry.
An industry official made these remarks yesterday at a workshop sponsored by the Sub-Council for Agriculture under the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT) and Exposium France, a France-based group that organizes exhibitions.
"We are aiming at a per capita consumption of 9 kilograms of milk per annum by 2005, roughly 2 kilograms higher than in 2000," said Fang Youshen, chairman of the China Milk Industry Association.
Fang maintained that the 2 kilogram increase will provide tremendous opportunities for companies because China has a huge population.
According to Fang, the world's consumption per capita was an average of about 100 kilograms in 2000, a figure that was 205 kilograms in developed countries.
To take advantage of these opportunities, China should introduce advanced husbandry methods to increase the number of dairy cows and promote the production of raw milk.
"Some giant dairy companies in China have sometimes encountered raw milk shortages in recent years, which has been an obstacle in the way of their development," Fang said.
China only has 4.7 million dairy cows at present and every cow produces an average of 2 tons of milk per year, while each cow in the United States produces about 8 tons every year, according to Fang.
Dairy products are some of the best sources of calcium, Fang said.
Scientists note that children aged 7 to 10 can get 60 percent of the proteins they need every day by drinking 500 grams of milk a day, as well as 75 percent of the calcium and vitamin B2 required to stay in good health.
The Agro-Foodtech China 2001 fair, under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture and organized by the Sub-Council for Agriculture under the CCPIT and Exposium France, finished today in Beijing.
(China Daily 04/26/2001)