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Field evaluation of a concept for opening small dairy units with negligible cost as a source of livelihood security

Author: 
Ram Bahal Rai, Kuldeep Dhama, Sandip Chakraborty, Thukkaram Damodaran, Balvir Singh, Hamid Ali, Sweta Rai and Harendra Kumar
Subject Area: 
Health Sciences
Abstract: 

Creating reasonable and sustainable livelihood security to masses is a major concern in the developing countries world over. The major challenge is creating reasonable livelihood security to landless and marginal farmers who comprise nearly 30% and 40% of rural families, respectively. Small dairies have been recommended as most acceptable and profitable venture. The present study has been undertaken to evaluate a concept of establishing small dairies by the resource poor farmers without involvement of any sizeable capital. It was conducted in two different situations: Andaman & Nicobar Islands, where dairy venture is in its infancy and low producing animals are reared for milk and availability of high producing animals for purchase and lateral introduction does not exist. The other situation existed in two districts of Uttar Pradesh, where dairy activities suffer from very low profitability. In the first scenario, initially in 10 villages of south Andaman, estrous synchronization of existing cows was done using our mineral based estrous induction and synchronization technology. In the second scenario, for establishment of dairies afresh 22 unemployed youths resource generation approach was taken up and they were provided with 250-300 day old chicks of Nirbhik strain and fed azolla. The income generated by first batch of rural poultry along with income from vegetables/gladiolus was used to purchase first high producing animal. The sale proceeds of milk along with cash realized from subsequent batches of poultry and vegetables /gladiolus was used to purchase second batch at 3-4 months interval. The concept was termed as “systematic introduction scheme” (SIS). The inter-calving period in intervened animals during 5 years was reduced to 15.5 ± 1.1 months. The male: female calf ratio during the period was 54.6: 45.4. Female calf survivability up to one year was 88.2%. The age at first calving in new stock was significantly reduced to 30.8-1.6 months. All the 22 youths monitored for the establishment of dairies earned on an average of Rs. 30,000/- net income from the first batch of chicks and Rs. 30,000 - 34,000/- in subsequent batches at 2-3 months intervals. Off-season vegetables provided Rs. 10,000 – 18,000/- in 3-4 months per 0.24 ha (one bigha) whereas, gladiolus gave a better return (above Rs. 25,000/- per 0.24 ha). Systematic introduction scheme (SIS) automatically improves earning status of rural youths as it has got a positive impact on milk production without incurring any expenditure.

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