Prabhat dairy farmers initiatives that helps to overcome the drought situation

Tie up with 50 year old Maharashtra NGO, BAIF for providing cattle breeding services to Prabhat milk suppliers.

Shrirampur, Ahmednagar District, Thursday, April 28, 2016: Prabhat Dairy through its Fodder Management Program is able to boost the dairy farming business in drought affected areas of Maharashtra, where milk production has gone down by 15 to 20 per cent. Recent trends indicate that dairy farmers will soon exit from the dairy farming business as it is no longer profitable.

According to Mr Vivek Nirmal, Joint Managing Director, Prabhat Dairy, “Today, farmers incur a cost of Rs 24 to 25 per liter of milk. But milk is sold at Rs 20 per liter. However, now it is possible to reduce production cost and increase profits with the three pillars of fodder management”.

Mr Vivek Nirmal continued, “Prabhat Dairy is taking the initiative by training farmers under the Prime Minister’s Make In India campaign.

Hence all vendors who form part of Prabhat’s supply chain will now be equipped by Prabhat Dairy through techniques such as moor grass, Hydroponics and Azola & Open Cow Sheds to focus on not just milk collection but also make efforts to reduce the production cost and revitalize this business”.

Moor Ghas (Silage)
The “moor ghas” system has been introduced. It is being used in Israel for many years. The farmers in Punjab and Haryana have been using it. The universities recommended it. But the farmers were not attracted to it. Now everybody has realized the benefits of ‘moor ghas’. The maize/ corn crop gets ready in 70 days. The fodder shredder is attached to the tractor. The tractor collects the shredded fodder. This is put in a deep pit covered with a plastic sheet. The pit is air-sealed and closed. The “moor ghas” gets ready in 45 days. It can be used throughout the year. It is extremely nutritious. Interestingly, 20 tons of fodder can be produced from an acre. It needs a pit measuring six feet deep, 15 feet wide and 25 to 30 feet long. This entire work costs a meager five to seven thousand rupees. This fodder costs Rs four per kilogram. Plant corn when water is available, make “moor ghas” from it, and use it when faced with fodder shortage.

Thus even at the peak of the drought, fodder is available. It is also known as the fodder storage. If one does not wish to follow the pit system, plastic bags of 500 kg capacity are available in the market for  Rs 500/-. Farmers can produce “moor ghas” in the same.

Hydroponics
Fodder production has started with the hydroponics technique of less use of water, farming without soil. The corn has fertility of 80 percent. So it is used in the hydroponics technique. The corn seeds are soaked in the water for 24 hours. Then it is covered in jute for sprouting for another 24 hours. Then it is spread in a plastic tray. Later these trays are placed in bamboo or iron stands. Then water is sprayed at regular intervals using sprayers or automatic foggers. It requires minimal water. The fodder gets ready within 8 days. This fodder is available at the cost of Rs 2.50 to Rs 3 per kilogram.

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Azola
Azola is a sea weed. It has digestive and nutritional values. The azola is grown in water tanks. It grows on its own. It is used as a fodder for cows. This is the new technique of fodder for the cattle. These three pillars reduce the cost of production of fodder. With the reduced cost, many farmers have benefited.

Loose Housing System for Cows
Earlier, there were grazing grounds. In due course of time, they vanished. Cattle grazing stopped. In the 70s, hybrid cattle were developed from imported semen. With their introduction, illnesses in cattle increased. More manpower was required for cleaning cow dung. It impacted milk production. Now with an open cowshed and loose cattle housing system, the cattle eat fodder only after feeling hungry and they eat only the required quantity. Water is also available as and when they feel thirsty. Sometimes they sit under the sun, and sometimes in the shade. It led to reduction in their diseases. The cow dung cleaning can be done twice every month, that too with the help of a tractor. Two people can manage a cow shed of 50 cows. Milking machines, fodder shredder, and foggier to wash the cows can be used in the open cow shed. It saves time and money.

Prabhat’s tie up with BAIF

Prabhat is today tying up with a 50 year old NGO, Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation (BAIF) from Maharashtra for providing high quality cattle breeding services in the milkshed of Prabhat. BAIF has successfully implemented Cattle Breeding Programme in 26 States across India and have developed a model of operating cattle breeding centers.

The tie up is for 5 years.

Objective of the Partnership

The partnership between Prabhat Dairy and BAIF aims at leveraging the knowledge, experience of BAIF semen doses with high genetic value available with them.

This program aims towards breed improvement keeping in view the breeding policy of Govt. of Maharashtra. Each cattle breeding center will provide the Artificial Insemination service with quality semen, Vaccination & Deworming facility to the milk producers of Prabhat Dairy Ltd.

Scope of Partnership

BAIF will provide quality breeding services at the door step of the milk suppliers of Prabhat Dairy in different parts of Ahmednagar and Aurangabad districts. BAIF will support Prabhat Dairy to develop curriculum for Artificial Insemination Technician training programme and for hands on training in Artificial Insemination technique and allied activities such as vaccination & DE-worming for local youth.

Prabhat will train these youths in its training centre and they will undergo practical training at BAIF’s field centers in Maharashtra

BAIF will select Artificial Insemination Technicians from candidates who have completed this training programme and employ them at the Cattle Breeding centers set up for milk suppliers of Prabhat.

Salient Features
In phase I, Fifty Cattle Breeding Centers will be established which will provide doorstep services to about 100,000 cattle of 25,000 milk producers of Prabhat in about 500 villages. About 275,000 Artificial Inseminations will be performed in 5 years through which, about 55,000 female calves will be added in the milkshed. This will generate 100,000 lit additional milk per day from the 3rd year of the program adding INR 80 Crore per annum to the rural economy of the area.

Prabhat plans to increase the number of centers to 200 in a phased manner in its milk shed.

Contact:
VIVEK NAIR
Paradigm Shift PR
Mumbai
+91 9833115116
Email: paradigmshiftpr@gmail.com