For Inner Mongolia, dairy industry is king
The Inner Mongolia autonomous region vows to be the nation's leader in the development of national dairy industry, a senior local official said.
The production value of dairy processing is expected to reach 300 billion yuan ($45.8 billion) by the end of 2025, the final year of the country's 14th Five-Year Plan period (2021-25), said Li Bingrong, vice-chairman of Inner Mongolia autonomous region at a news conference in Beijing on Tuesday.
Inner Mongolia ranks first in the country in number of cows, production of milk, processing ability and market share of dairy products. The region has two of the nation's leading dairy brands, Yili and Mengniu.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs, the nation's total milk production volume last year was 32.97 million metric tons, and Inner Mongolia accounted for one-sixth of that.
According to Liu Yaqing, vice-chairman of the Dairy Association of China, the region is making efforts in product innovation to meet the diverse needs of customers for cold milk and low-fat products. Efforts are also being made to produce more traditional dairy products for people of the Mongolian ethnic group, including milk tofu, milk curd, Mongolian cheese and butter.
Liu Hanbing began his business selling milk in 1996 when he was 15-years-old. Now he is the manager of a dairy products company in Xiliinhot.
"I've always dreamed of making my hometown the capital of cheese, and I hope in the future that locally produced cheese will be welcomed by more Chinese people," Liu said.