GOTAFE taps into Indian dairy training opportunities
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Assisted by Austrade, GOTAFE secured an internationally competitive
contract with the Indian Government’s peak dairy body, the National Dairy
Development Board (NDDB), to conduct short, intensive training in dairy
production and study tours to Australia.
GOTAFE – the Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE – is the largest regional
TAFE in Victoria, and a specialist centre for food processing, equine and
The institute has been hosting dairy study delegations from India over the
past year. To date, around 50 Indian dairy professionals have been trained
and exposed to Australian dairy technologies, best practice and expertise.
The training is part of the World Bank–funded National Dairy Development
Project for capacity building in India. The objective of the Project is to
increase the productivity of the dairy industry in India, of which
provision of training, research, and technical assistance is a significant
The first study tour in October 2017 hosted 25 delegates from the dairy
industry, including veterinarians, dairy cooperatives, dairy manufacturers
and NDDB extension officers from across India. Each member of the
delegation has a role in the newly released Indian National Dairy Plan.
The study tour included visits to AgBio and DataGene at La Trobe
University; Burra Foods at Korumburra; Ellinbank Research Centre at
Warragul; the GOTAFE Werribee Pilot Factory; and the GOTAFE campus at
Warragul. Delegates visited dairy farms selected for their specialty area
of excellence, with guest speakers providing onsite presentations and
A second study tour in February 2018 focused on the North East Victorian
dairy industry, based near Shepparton. The participants met with Australian
dairy farmers to share their perspectives and best practices in dairy
management, and visited dairy and food processing plants for a first-hand
look at the latest production techniques and technologies.
Exporting Australian dairy expertise
The NDDB opportunity arose when a senior executive from GOTAFE participated
in a site visit to the NDDB organised by Austrade as part of Australia
Business Week in India in 2015.
Austrade articulated the opportunity to GOTAFE to train Indian dairy
industry professionals. Australia’s dairy training expertise, as well as
dairy technology, products and services, is highly regarded worldwide and a
strong competitive advantage.
Based on the visit, GOTAFE identified skill set gaps in India’s dairy
sector. With support from Austrade and in consultation with NDDB, the institute then developed a
capability statement and proposal for the NDDB to train dairy sector
This resulted in the NDDB engaging GOTAFE to deliver a three-pronged dairy
training program in Australia for its field officers and middle management.
Growing opportunities for Australian dairy across the value chain
Speaking about the training partnership with the NDDB, Travis Heeney, CEO,
GOTAFE, said: ‘As the largest vocational education provider in
North East Victoria, we have a footprint across regional Victoria focused
on dairy training; dairy food technology and processing training; and
hands-on training in farms and factories. We have expertise in dairy across
the entire supply chain and we saw value in working with the NDDB.
‘The study tours have provided the participants from the NDDB the
opportunity to gain an understanding of the Australian dairy industry
through exposure to technical skills education and training, and
demonstration of the manner in which research is implemented on-farm.’
GOTAFE’s contract with the NDDB is the first partnership Australia has
secured with the organisation since the 1990s, when Australia used to
receive delegations from the NDDB.
‘This is a very significant milestone in our engagement with the Indian
dairy industry, which is the largest in the world,’ said Anirban Deb,
Business Development Manager, Austrade India. ‘The industry is setting out
on a massive productivity development program to achieve production
sustainability. We would like to see Australia involved in this initiative,
by positioning Australia as a training partner to India and promoting the
reliability of Australian capabilities in the dairy value chain to India.’
According to Mark Morley, Trade Commissioner, Austrade India: ‘We see
potential commercial outcomes for the Australian dairy industry across the
entire milk value chain emerging from this training partnership.
‘This includes the export of Australian high-merit, heat-resistant dairy
cattle genetics; Australian products and services in animal breeding, milk
production and milk processing; Australian research in climate
change-resilient dairy farming, and Australian research in new milk product
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