GOTAFE taps into Indian dairy training opportunities

October 2018

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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 dairy education.

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 component.

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 demonstrations.

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 professionals.

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 development.’

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