Q) “Indian dairies have been facing many challenges and the recent pandemic has further affected its business”. Do you agree? Comment.
Dairy industries and infrastructures modernized and expanded. After white revolution in India the main
Challenges faced by Indian diaries:
Shortage of feed/fodder:
o There are an excessive number of unproductive animals, which compete with productive dairy animals in the utilizationof available feeds and fodder.
o The grazing area is being reduced markedly every year due to industrial development resulting in shortage of supply offeeds and fodder to the total requirement.
o The low capability of purchasing feeds and fodder by the small and marginal farmers and agricultural labourers engagedin dairy development result in inadequate feeding.
o Non-supplementation of mineral mixture results in mineral deficiency diseases. High-cost Feeding reduces the profits ofthe dairy industry.
o Late maturity, in most of the Indian cattle breeds, is a common problem.
o There is no effective detection of heat symptoms during oestrus cycle by the cattle owners.
o The calving interval is on the increase resulting in a reduction in efficiency of animal performance.
o Diseases causing abortion leads to economic loss to the industry. Mineral, hormone and vitamin deficiencies lead tofertility problems.
Education and Training:
o A vigorous education and training programmes on good dairy practices could result in the production of safe dairyproducts, but to succeed they have to be participative in nature.
o In this regard, education and training of all the employees is essential to develop a sense of ownership.
o However, developing and implementing such programs in the dairy sector requires a strong commitment from themanagement, which at times, is a stumbling block.
o Veterinary health care centers are located in far off places.
o The ratio between cattle population and veterinary institutions is wider, resulting in inadequate health services toanimals.
o No regular and periodical vaccination schedule is followed; regular deworming programme is not done as per schedule,resulting in heavy mortality in calves, especially in buffalo.
o No adequate immunity is established against various cattle diseases.
o Many cattle owners do not provide proper shelter to their cattles leaving them exposed to extreme climatic conditions.
o Unsanitary conditions of cattle shed and milking yards, leads to mastitis conditions.
o Unhygienic milk production leads to a reduction in storing quality and spoilage of milk and other products.
Marketing and Pricing:
o Dairy farmers are not getting remunerative prices for milk supply.
o Due to the adoption of an extensive cross breeding programme with Holstein Friesian breed, the fat content ofcrossbreed cow’s milk is on the declining condition and low price is offered as the milk price is estimated on the basis offat and solid nonfat milk content.
o There is also a poor perception of the farmers, due to lack of marketing facilities and extension services, towardscommercial dairy enterprise as an alternative to other occupations.
Measures that can be taken
Need of developing linkages between production centers and market
o Public spending in the livestock sector as a proportion of the value of the sector‘s output needs to be increased to re-energize the sector.
o The strengthening of linkages between production and markets through institutions such as co-operatives, producers‘associations, and contract farming is the need of the hour.
o Institutional support in terms of credit and insurance is meager and needs to be strengthened. Further, thegovernments and industry should prepare producers for a quality-driven competition in the domestic as well as globalmarket.
- Eradication of Infectious diseases
o Infectious diseases are a major burden on the farmers‘ economy. The recently launched National Animal DiseaseControl Programme (NADCP) aims at eradicating Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and brucellosis in livestock.
- AI and Automation Systems in livestock farm
o A lot of progress has been made in Artificial Intelligence (AI) and automation systems. The livestock farm automationsystem is the opportunity to tailor operations to the needs of each animal.
o This saves time, requires less labor and improves product quality, increases production, efficiency, accuracy, and safety.
o As automation demands high installation and repair costs; hence is more suitable for commercial & institutional farms.
o But with increased usage, the prices will be driven down. With the automation of farms, livestock management isshifting from being an art to an application on a mobile device.