It is in the interests of the global dairy sector for China to have its own sustainable milk industry, according to Alltech vice president Mark Lyons.

He said if this is not achieved, then the Chinese government could close off the country to all dairy imports.

“This would be the worst of all worlds for the international milk sector,” he cautioned.

According to Lyons the projected growth in dairy consumption throughout China will provide ample business opportunities for all of the world’s main dairy processors.

“The same principle of indigenous sustainability holds where China’s pig industry is concerned,” he said.

Lyons was speaking at the closing plenary session of the organisation’s annual symposium in Kentucky.

“We are starting to see more openness in the way universities and research institutions work together, where China is concerned. A perfect example of this is the recently launched Nestlé Dairy Farm Institute in northern China.

“The facility, which is located in Heilongjiang Province, includes classrooms, laboratories, dormitories, and three different sized training farms to facilitate the training courses. It is anticipated that around 700 students will be rained annually.”

Lyons went on to confirm that increasing levels of collaboration are now taking place between agri research institutes and the various agribusiness sector around the world, which will be able to deliver new ideas on to farms within a six month period.

“This will include the entire process of taking a concept, researching its value and then delivering a practical solution to farmers,” he said.

“We want to see more of this moving forward. Agriculture must adapt to the challenge of getting new ideas implemented more quickly and effectively. The drivers behind the Big Data revolution will have as much of an impact within agriculture as is the case within the other sectors of the global economy.”