Nestle has commenced the construction of Dairy Farming Institute in Shuangcheng to help Chinese farmers modernise their facilities and improve management skills.

The training center, whose first phase is slated to be completed by the end of 2012, will cover an area of around 600,000m².

It will be supported by three training farms including one cow base, one large farm and one mega farm, which will guide farmers to use latest technology in agriculture and source quality milk using sustainable methods.

The five year project would cost Nestle, investors, local government and the farmers an amount of RMB2.5bn ($393m).

Through the training institute, Nestle aims to create value for the company’s shareholders and also help drive the dairy industry in Shuangcheng.

In a vote of confidence in the dairy farming institute, cooperation agreements were signed between Nestle and some industry players including Land O’ Lakes, Alta and East Rock.

Nestle China food and beverage division managing director Heiko Schipper said the emphasis will be on training farmers so that they are prepared to modernise their farms and deliver high quality milk in an efficient and responsible way.

"Increasing the skills of farmers is our first priority," Schipper added.

Nestle has been in connection with Shuangcheng since 1987, when it built a dairy factory and has continued to boost the industry in the region.

Schipper said Nestle has had a long partnership with China.

"From the start, our company has worked diligently to develop the local dairy industry," Schipper said.

"We look forward to continue sharing our experiences, resources, technology and facilities."

Image: The Dairy Farming Institute groundbreaking is said to be a very important step for Nestle to promote the modernisation of the dairy industry in Shuangcheng. Photo: Nestle