BANGKOK, Nov 27 — Thailand’s Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives pointed out that the dairy farming industry here is able to export products into the ASEAN market, and said that the ministry will promote planting special grass for dairy cow fodder to cut the cost of importing cattle feed.
Deputy Minister for Agriculture and Cooperatives Apichart Pongsriadulchai said at a seminar on ‘Thai Dairy Farming in the ASEAN Market’ that now Thailand exports dairy products worth Bt5 billion annually.
However, when compared with neighbouring countries which remain in the phase of developing the dairy farming sector, Thailand is at a disadvantage due to the higher minimum wage, though the quality of the milk produced in Thailand is higher, and Thai dairy cows produce more milk.
The minister said the price of dairy products Thailand is due in part to the price of animal feed, as the country has been importing it.
The ministry has now decided on a new type of farming by following a model used in Europe, where dairy cows are raised in the field to reduce the cost of feeding.
Dairy farmers would be further encouraged to plant more grass for grazing to help reduce the imports of fodder from abroad.
This is turn should lower production cost for Thai dairy products, the deputy minister said.
The future of dairy farming in Thailand will be even brighter, he said, once the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC) begins next year, as the ASEAN market already has larger demands for dairy products.