Fonterra has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Indian Farmers Fertiliser Co-operative (IFFCO) and Global Dairy Health to study whether to set up a pilot dairy farm in India.

Fonterra said today (12 November) that the move, following talks with IFFCO, was the “first step towards the vision of establishing large-scale world-class dairy farms in India”.

The feasibility study would “firm up” key parameters of the project and is expected to be completed “shortly”.

If the project proceeds, the pilot farm could have a herd size of around 3,000-5,000 cows.

Fonterra CEO Andrew Ferrier said the approach would be similar to that taken by Fonterra in China. Fonterra established a pilot farm for 3,000 cows in Tangshan in 2007.

“India is a vibrant and growing market and we are excited by the potential opportunities there. We are delighted to be working with IFFCO, the world’s largest farmer fertiliser co-operative with a membership of 50 million farmers, and GDH, which is highly respected in India,” Ferrier said.