Nestle has entered into a partnership with the Moroccan authorities in a bid to boost its milk collection and production in the region.

The company announced yesterday (7 May) that it has entered a collaboration with the local authorities in the region of Doukkala-Abda, an area that currently produces 22% of the milk produced in Mexico.

Through its partnership with the Agency for Agricultural Development and the Regional Office of Agriculture, Nestle hopes to increase milk production, improve fresh milk quality and encourage the development of the sector as a whole.

The company said that it will invest more than CHF5.3m (US$5.7m) over the next three years to help more than 10,000 farmers by providing training, technical equipment, management and finance.

Nestle said that it wants to increase its own milk collection by 10% by 2014.

"This partnership will expand our dairy operations in the country," said David Saudan, CEO of Nestle Morocco. "Our investment aims to encourage the growth of the dairy sector and help us to continue to deepen our engagement with farmers and their communities."

The move is part of Nestle's increasing focus on developing dairy operations in fast-growing emerging markets. The Moroccan investment follows an investment of CHF127m in a new milk products factory in Chile, the opening of a UHT milk factory in Sri Lanka in April and the planned construction of a dairy farming institute in China in January.