December 1, 2011
Estonian dairy sector aims to raise milk production to one million tonnes annually, deputy secretary general of the Ministry of Agriculture Andres Oopkaup said on Friday (Nov 25).
Other strategic goals are to improve the efficiency of both milk production and the dairy industry and increase the share of high-value-added products in both output and export, Oopkaup said.
Speaking about dairy sector statistics, Oopkaup observed that during the last decade Estonia's milk output has increased by 7%, rising to 676,000 tonnes by 2010. At the same time the number of cattle has shrunk by 27%, totalling 97,000 in 2010. Yield per cow has grown by 50%, averaging 6,977 kilogrammes last year.
In 2010 the level of self supply of milk in Estonia was 162.5%, up by 27.5 percentage points from 2000, Oopkaup added. The export of dairy products has grown 2.9 times, reaching EUR147 million (US$197.6 million) last year. High-value-added exports have meanwhile increased 6.4 times, amounting to EUR66 million (US$88.7 million).
The Chamber of Agriculture and Commerce observed in the dairy forum notice posted on its website that the production of milk has quickly concentrated in large farms. As the output of milk in Estonia exceeds the needs of the domestic market export is very important to the sector. More and more investments should be made in developing, producing and exporting high-value-added products.