Lf extraction from milk: Economic potential in a post-corona world
– Mohd. Abul Kalam Azad, Dairy Expert, Bangladesh Milk Producers’ Cooperative Union Ltd. (Milk Vita)
Lactoferrin (Lf) is an iron-chelating traceable glycoprotein present in milk. Its functional outlook includes: iron absorption, anti-inflammatory, intestinal flora protection, antibacterial, antiviral etc. covering different fields: food & beverage, infant formula, sports & functional foods, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and other applications. It is present in the milk of bovine at a high concentration in colostrums as 2-5 mg/ml and at a low concentration in raw milk as 0.1- 0.3 mg/ml. Lf may be extracted from milk whey (1.Castro et al, J. Adv. Dairy Res 2017, 5:4).
Milk Vita – the largest liquid milk processing organization in Bangladesh – is dealing with about 200,000 lt/day raw liquid milk production, collection, processing and marketing nation-wide in the diversified fold of dairy products, where we may extract about 60 kg super quality Lactoferrin (Lf) every day from the said raw milk; resulting in market value of about US$ 30,000 per day or about US$ 10 million per year, for 360 working days as regular gross additional income beyond the conventional milk business (2. Azad, M.A.K.,2001). Thus, if Milk Vita does requisite steps for Lf extraction from own collected raw milk, it may accrue more money than traditional milk business.
Navigating the crisis with the Milk Gold
Bangladesh is severely affected by the Coronavirus crisis. Every day, the fatalities are increasing lethally. All people in Bangladesh including Milk Vita nowadays are fighting against this unseen enemy. Milk Vita also understands the financial threat that the Coronavirus may pose in the coming days. Therefore, we may orient our innovative capabilities towards extracting Lf from our regular milk collection from dairy farmers, investing the required local/international technology and marketing the same globally.
Nowadays, Lf is termed as Milk Gold due to its high-market value. Milk Vita – the largest milk processing organization in Bangladesh can earn additional income through extraction of Lf from its routine raw liquid milk collection and also minimize the huge financial stress of pre and post- COVID-19.
Awareness and connectivity are the key
Besides traditional dairy business, multi-dimensional use of milk is an innovative idea indeed. One can also earn huge returns, even greater than those accrued annually through Lf extraction. The only requirements at the moment may be:
- Create awareness among milk processing organizations domestically and in overseas markets for Lf extraction to unearth additional income generation beyond the traditional milk & milk products business.
- Make a professional bridge among milk processors, Lf extraction logistic support providers, Lf commercial users to minimize the pre and post COVID-19 financial stress.
In the year 1973, the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh undertook a project titled “Cooperative Dairy Project” (1973-78) based on the joint recommendation of Danish International Development Agency (DANIDA), FAO & UNDP. It focused on the famous AMUL Pattern/AMUL Model, covering two basic objectives, viz: Ensuring the regular supply of safe, hygienic and nutritious milk and milk products to city dwellers at a fair price; and raising subsidiary incomes of poor, landless and marginal farmers living in relatively remote rural areas of the country by way of purchasing their produced raw milk at a reasonable price through a guaranteed market under the co-operative fold; in line with the vision of our Father of the Nation Bangobandhu Sk. Mujibur Rahman. In the initial stage of the project, five milk plants were also set up in cities like Tangail, Manikgonj, Dhaka, Baghabarighat and Takerhat in Bangladesh.
The Milk Vita Model
In this context, Bangladesh Milk Vita Model for cooperative dairying has already been cemented nationwide. Other milk and milk products producing organizations like Aurong, Pran, Amo, and Aftab. Ultra are also doing business in the private sector. The overall synopsis of Milk Vita Model is concentrated into 5 steps:
- Primary cooperation at village level
- Primary Milk producing cooperative societies
- Milk Vita chilling centres
- Milk Vita milk processing plants
- Marketing of finished dairy products
Services provided to cooperative society members:
- Various Livestock Extension Services aimed at Dairy Entrepreneurship Development.
- Artificial Insemination Programme
- Year round green fodder cultivation programme (Australian Sweet Jumboo, Napier) honouring the slogan: First cultivate green grass, then milking).
- Year round cattle vaccination
- Balanced Cattle Feed supply services
- Low service charged cattle loan
- Co-operative Management training program
- Guaranteed year round liquid milk selling facilities with reasonable prices
- Free cattle medication/treatment facilities, etc.
Liquid milk collection and marketing trend
In Bangladesh around the (January-December) rate of milk production was recorded at 9.97%, 10.01%, 9.20%, 8.59%, 8,17%, 8.37%, 7,27%, 6.50%, 6.46%, 6,86%, 8.73% and 9.88% respectively (Azad, M.A.K.,2001). In the context of Bangladesh, milk production is increasing in praiseworthy mode, but unfortunately the marketing of liquid milk has not developed in a uniform manner. Milk Vita model for milk production and collection on dairy value chain of smallholder farmers may be replicated in different milk pocket areas/clusters in Bangladesh.
Simultaneously, the Indian AMUL model for milk marketing could be established throughout the country. Although Milk Vita, the cooperatives owned organization is partially adopting the AMUL concept, but entire implementation of AMUL concept, especially marketing system should get highest priority. We should recall that till date, rural dairying is holding about 60% share of milk production in the national milk grid. The lion’s share of these 60% rural smallholding milk producers’ may be incorporated into Milk Vita activities, minimizing macro and micro challenges.
Present scenario of Dairying in Bangladesh
Dairying in Bangladesh is generally characterized by small scale, widely dispersed and unorganized milk animal holders, low productivity, lack of assured year-round remunerative producer price for raw milk, inadequate basic infrastructure for provision of production inputs, services and above all, lack of professional management practices. In Bangladesh, Milk Vita has successfully developed a cooperative milk production model like AMUL India beyond existing traditional or informal systems as well as combating all sorts of identified challenges.
Milk Vita has achieved an annual growth rate of about 17% in raw liquid milk. The average growth rate of dairying in Bangladesh stands at 6.76%, below the demand growth rate of about 10% due to increase of purchasing capacity and changes in food habits of the consumers. In fact dairying in our context may therefore serve as a powerful instrument for rural development, devising a viable dairy development strategy for the rural smallholder calls for detailed analysis of strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats posed by the external environment. Therefore, there is huge potential for dairy entrepreneurship development/business opportunities in Bangladesh awaits It may be synchronized by the establishment of small-scale dairy enterprises and processing plants through Milk Vita and other promising dairy giants with appropriate national & international dairy policy and institutional support services for rural prosperity.
Lf may be extracted in two forms:
a) From fresh raw milk – just setting up to the mark level devices in the milk processing plant in Milk Vita (BDP: Baghabarighat Dairy Plant; or DDP: Dhaka Dairy Plant);
b) From whey water – just the drained water, while making cheese in commercial processing plant.
Basically, higher concentration of Lf is found most in colostrums, raw milk and least in whey. In the context of Bangladesh, collection of Lf from colostrums is possible because Milk Vita does not have any organized Lf collection from its dairy cattle head. So, we should collect Lf from raw milk or from whey. Hypothetically, we may get about 60 kg super quality Lf from our raw milk (@ 200,000 lt/day in 360 working days), amounting to US$ 10 million. It may be financially very helpful to minimize the post COVID-19 financial crisis for Milk Vita. This is the idea for accruing better returns for other milk processing organizations in Bangladesh as well as other countries globally.
Milk Vita –the largest milk processing organization in Bangladesh is functioning successfully for about 50 years and produces different dairy products as pasteurized milk, toned milk, powder milk, ghee, butter, fermented milk & milk products, cheese, etc. Every day, Milk Vita produces about 200,000L. raw liquid milk and collecting the same; honouring complete SCM around the year. Lf is present in the milk of bovine at a high concentration in colostrums as 2-5mg/ml and at a low concentration in raw milk as 0.1- 0.3 mg/ml. Lf may be extracted from milk whey as well as raw milk. Hypothetically, we may extract about 60 kg super quality Lactoferrin (Lf) from the said raw milk, resulting in market value of about US$ 30,000 per day or about US$ 10 million per year for 360 working days as regular gross additional income beyond conventional milk business. Thus, if Milk Vita takes the requisite steps for Lf extraction from its own collected raw milk, it may accrue more money than traditional milk business.