The Thai-German Dairy project has celebrated its 50th anniversary in Chiangmai, northern Thailand. The two project first directors, Prof.em Dr.sc.agr Hans-Jürgen Langholz and Dr. Nico Nissen attended, as well as Thai officials and farmers.
In the 1950s, Thailand had no recognisable dairy industry. The Thai government asked for assistance from the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. After a feasibility study in 1961, GAWI, predecessor of GTZ and GIZ, established the Thai-German Dairy Project in 1965. It lasted to 1977, all together 12 years.
The introduction of dairy farming in Thailand was a success. Keeping dairy cows has contributed to the diversification of Thai farming. Producing and selling milk has secured farm income at times of agricultural crop failures. Maintaining, feeding, and milking cows have become an additional source of income for spare farm labour. Today, Thai entrepreneurs have established large dairy farms with herds of 1000 cows and more. The processing industry has created jobs for thousands of employees: the Thai-German Dairy Project was the foundation of the dairy industry in northern Thailand.
His Majesty the King visited the project regularly. German president Heinrich Lübke also took time to see it.