Arla's Danish agri project aims to cut emissions by 30% & boost income for Bangladeshi farmers

The project targets to pioneer a green, sustainable and commercially viable dairy value chain in Bangladesh by implementing data-proven dairy expertise from Denmark. Partners include Arla Foods, PRAN Dairy, Solidaridad Network Asia, IDRN-Bangladesh Agricultural University, SEGES Innovation, and The Danish Agriculture & Food Council
Arla's Danish agri project aims to cut emissions by 30% & boost income for Bangladeshi farmers
Photo - Arla Foods

Danida Green Business Partnership under the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs is funding an innovative dairy project in Bangladesh titled “Green Dairy Partnership in Bangladesh – creating a sustainable and productive dairy value chain model in Southwest Bangladesh.” The kick-off event of the EUR 3.4m project was held in Dhaka last week.

The project is pioneering a green, sustainable, and commercially viable dairy business, targeting a 30% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions while at the same time achieve a 30% increase in income for 10,000 farmer households with a scaling potential of 50,000. Additionally, this 5-year project has the ambition to ensure that 80% of the targeted farmers are women. Subsequently, the project will streamline milk collection and processing in the Southwest Bangladesh, while introducing more sustainably produced dairy products in the market. By adapting Danish expertise on sustainable dairy farming from Arla Foods and SEGES Innovation, the project model aims to assist PRAN Dairy’s business and farmers in becoming more efficient. The key levers are Arla’s ‘Big5’ concept: feed efficiency, feed balance, animal robustness, manure handling and efficient use of land.

The impact of these five levers are documented in Arla Foods’ extensive data gathered from their 8,000 farmer owners creating one of the world’s largest sets of externally verified data on dairy farming. The five levers are expected to deliver 25% of the greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the project. The additional 5% is planned to be achieved through process optimization: energy, food waste and packaging. The project is also expected to deliver proof-points, managed by IDRN together with the SEGES Innovation, to guide the green transformation of the dairy industry in Bangladesh.

Bangladesh, which has a population of approx. 175m people, produces annually produces 10.2 million tons of milk through 1.6 million farms all across the country with an average yield of 4.8 liters per day per cow. The CO2e emission is currently recorded at 3.52 kg per kg of milk. In comparison, Arla’s 8,000 farmer owners from seven different European countries produce just 1.08 kg CO2e per kg of milk.

Administered by Solidaridad Network Asia, the project features PRAN Dairy as the key commercial partner while partners Arla Foods, IDRN-Bangladesh Agricultural University, SEGES Innovation, and The Danish Agriculture & Food Council all play key supporting roles.

Statements from the event:

Ahsan Khan Chowdhury, chairman and chief executive officer, PRAN-RFL Group, said, “We are very pleased to be considered one of the key players of the project. PRAN Dairy is collaborating closely with dairy farmers across different regions of Bangladesh to create a sustainable and productive dairy value chain. As part of the sustainable dairy project, we are providing training dairy farmers to enhance productivity and working with them on feed efficiency, feed balance, animal robustness, manure handling, and efficient use of land.”

Selim Reza Hasan, country manager, Solidaridad Network Asia, said, “Bangladesh is going through the double graduation process. It has achieved the status of lower-middle income country as well as entered into the process of graduating from LDC to a middle income country status. The prosperity of Bangladesh demands safe and sustainable food. The ‘Green Dairy Partnership project’ is developing a business case for the farmers and the private sector for production and supply of quality milk, which would be carbon neutral.”

Irene Quist Mortensen, head of International Sustainability, Arla Foods, said, “Arla Foods is proud to have initiatied this project, building on our long-standing commitment to create a more efficient and sustainable dairy value chain in Bangladesh. Taking dairy farming expertise accumulated over decades by our farmer owners and sharing it with farmers across the world is a an integral part of our ambition to create the future of dairy.”

Ninna Westphael, head of Cattle, SEGES Innovation, said, “We cannot solve the climate challenges alone. Therefore, SEGES Innovation is incredibly pleased and proud to have the opportunity to share our extensive experience in capacity building within dairy production. In this way, we can contribute to reducing the global climate impact of food production while simultaneously enhancing Danish business trade opportunities with other countries.”

Mathias Sandholt Knauf, advisor, Danish Agriculture & Food Council, said, “The world population is expected to reach 10 billion people by 2050. We must learn how to produce more food and reduce our climate and environmental impact at the same time. International collaboration will be crucial to overcome this global challenge. Therefore, the Danish Agriculture & Food Council is pleased to be part of this project and proud to contribute with our competencies, knowledge, and experiences to establish a more sustainable and resource-efficient dairy value chain in Bangladesh.”

Click HERE to subscribe to our FREE Weekly Newsletter

Related Stories

No stories found.