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Sun 1 Apr 2007 01:14 PM

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Dairy brings Australian cows to UAE

Marmum Dairy Farm, a UAE-based dairy owned by Dubai Investments, is aiming to increase its milk production by 2.5 million litres in 2007 by importing 300 registered heifers from Australia.

Marmum Dairy Farm, a UAE-based dairy owned by Dubai Investments, is aiming to increase its milk production by 2.5 million litres in 2007 by importing 300 registered heifers from Australia. The move comes as increased commodity prices compel the dairy industry to offset high food costs by investing in cows with higher average milk production.

"The dairy industry has been under tremendous pressure due to high commodity prices world wide, so Marmum has invested in cows with higher average milk production to offset the high feed costs," said Johann Wasserman, general manager, Marmum. "We were able to buy the replacement heifers at competitive prices from top quality dairy farms, as Australian dairies are selling off their stock due to the worst drought in 100 years.

"Regional competition and changing demands of the industry necessitate that we re-shape our strategic direction to focus on improving our genetic value of the herd, improving our milk volumes and creating a higher efficiency," Wasserman added.

The new importations will enable the dairy to manage nearly the same number of cows, but with higher annual production rates projected to increase from 12.5 million litres in 2006 to15 million litres in 2007.

Furthermore, in a bid to gain greater self-sufficiency, Marmum has started a program to home-breed animals with a greater ability to produce milk, and that are disease free and better adapted to the local climate. The breeding program will produce 500 heifers a year from 2008 onwards, adding to its existing young stock herd of 950 home-bred heifers.

Marmum Dairy Farm was acquired by Dubai Investments in 1996 and is the third largest dairy farm in the UAE with an annual plant production of 20 million litres and a total dairy herd of amost 3,000.

The dairy, located 25km from Dubai, has a diverse portfolio of milk, cream and yoghurt products available in more than 2,500 outlets across the UAE.

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