Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Buffalo seeking new relationship norms with budding commercial Dairy Farmer (37th DP 1st to 15 May,2017)

Dear friends ,

Last fortnight saw a lot of growth and progress in Indian dairy sector. A couple of happenings which made big news were as follows :

a. Pepsi launching their fibre based dairy beverage for breakfast under their coveted quaker oats brand on May 8 exactly after 6 months of demonetisation. 
b. Dodla dairy getting good funding from investors
c. Heritage re launching their logo.
d. Amul premiumising the dairy segment holistically.
e. New label norms for printing picture of cow on milk , ghee and milk products.
f. 2 minute test for milk adulteration @ Rs 60 using a magic strip.
g. New FSSAI norms for Ice factories which may make conventional cold chain of milk in India more hygienic.

However the topic of discussion for this fortnight has more to do with too much of ethnocentrism which has been developed around Cow in our country. Mr Sodhi from Amul had a valid deliberation on this subject last week.

Dairy farming has been treated as a part time vocation by most of the farmers in the country and at commercial scale it has never been considered a true farming activity. Most of the peri urban buffalo farms in the country which fetches maximum value addition due to high fat and healthy perception of buffalo milk, have always thrived mostly on industrial wastes along with dry fodder on one hand ,and rotation of dry animals till they become pregnant on the other hand.

Since 2011, we have seen a lot of traction in dairy farming business and in most of the cases the young entrepreneurs were looking at Cross bred cows as their first choice. The reasons were quiet judicious due to high productivity and better key performance indicators, in terms of age at first calving, inter-calving period and longevity of lactation for animal to be in milk. Commercial dairy farms with cross bred cows are also the first choice of entrepreneurs as it gives a better perceptual feeling of being high tech in nature.

The changing dynamics at socio cultural level in the country, has put a lot of pressure on understanding the future of cross breed cows farming in India ( primarily due to lack of clarity in communication by the government on its policies about these exotic breeds). Desi cows seems to be the best option as on date due to much of consumer awareness and support statements by various stakeholders (like the respectable Chief minister of UP has announced a long term perspective on making cows farming sustainable in their state through their Kamdhenu scheme) in last fortnight only.  However due to strict enforcement on cow slaughtering ,and untoward incident by some culprits for cows in transit has created a shocking situation for the cow lovers as well as farmers.

Under the current scenario, thus ,we feel that Buffalo is emerging as a right choice for our country for dairy farming and sustainability. Now its high time for the think tank of Indian dairy sector, like ministries and Neeti Ayog to develop a long term plan for buffalo farm development in the country by identifying the critical areas of genetic improvement, cattle health , nutritional programs, conservation and production of high quality semen , developing a large inventory of quality bulls and supporting semen station or even embryo transfer for quick results.

The government could also see controlled use of certain growth hormones which are harmless to life by setting usage protocol and product approvals through FDA, using most stringent standards as done in developed world like USA etc. Such initiative might also make moderate to high yielding desi cows also to perform better and thus becoming sustainable. 

This is high time for the country to identify a new relationship with buffalo, like it has been for cow since ages. Unlike cow who is being treated as mother, a buffalo does not even enjoy the status of being an aunt, even though the outcome is the same Milk ( and that too with slightly higher fat) :) 

With over 50 % of milk from buffalo, it is most acceptable taste wise in most part of the country and could be a good source for making value added products with better conversions, in products like cheese, panir, butter, ghee etc.

Happy elearning !

Your truly

Kuldeep Sharma
Chief Thinking Officer
Suruchi Consultants (ISO 9001:2008 Company)
C-49 Sector-65
Noida 201307

Monday, May 1, 2017

Animal Aadhar Card : Paradigm shift in dairy development (36TH DP 16 to 30 April)

Dear Friends,

Dairy horizon is changing and it looks like that whole of India has been put into a time machine (at least in dairy sector) and we have entered into Dwapar yuga. Its all about Desi cows and cow milk and panchamrita with a pinch of A2. Lord Krishna must have been very much sure of cow safety on this part of the earth under current scenario.

Amidst all this the news of Animal Aadhar card for animal identification, came as a great initiative for dairy development in India. I used to wonder for last so many years on, how does milk output in India is computed every year without any visible system of Animal, farm and above all cattle identification. Identification of these three entities is the foundation of any kind of dairy data generation in any country. I feel that this decision has power to bring paradigm shift in the way government schemes and subsidies are being implemented for animal welfare. A couple of long term benefits of this card could be :

a. Assessment of actual population of dairy cattles ( breedwise/cattle wise ) in the country.
b. Assessing the actual production of milk ( breedwise/cattle wise ) in the country.
c. Assessing the actual money earned by each cow on its milk by linking cattle aadhar card with the farmer's aadhar card with the bank account.
d. Passing on any government subsidy, health insurance, medicines, balanced ration, cattle feed, vaccination facility or others directly to animal 
    card through farmer's aadhar card.
e. Assessing the actual farmer's income versus agricultural income at various time of the year and under flood/drought situations.

Other interesting areas might be for some serious policy making and advocacy.

a. Assessing actual number of animals in milk .
b. Assessing actual feed and fodder requirements of the animals in milk.
c. Assessing actual feed and fodder requirements of dry animals.
d. Assessing population of sick/old/dry animals.
e. Assessing the actual cost of maintaining sick/old/unproductive dry animals by the poor farmers.
f. Assessing the actual population of male calves and cost of their feeding.

By doing this we can also compute

a. The cost of keeping unproductive animals in the country.
b. The Income generated by keeping milking and its contribution to the gdp.

The list is unending and the opportunity which I clearly see is that the government could very well be in a situation to decide on how to make animals more healthy, productive as well as how to compensate poor farmers to maintain dry,unproductive and old animals directly through financial inclusion.

This matter is of utmost important and I really do not know why the industry is silent and also wonder on what government is planning about it. 

I have full faith in system and I believe that the government is really planning to do something for poor farmers so that they could have freedom to cull their unwanted animals. We need over 100000 dry cow hostel to begin with where such kind of animals could be kept ( if we do not wish them to be slaughtered). I also recommend that the government must involve premier institutions like NDRI, IIT, IISc, Vet universities, Ministry of renewable energies along with some global donor agencies to create a model wherein these dry animals hostel could become sustainable making use of their manure and Urine as well as we could make use of physical power of male heifers and unproductive bulls to run floor mills, oil crusher, water pump etc and save energy as well as convert local agri produce into value added products. 

I will not be surprised if someday 100 such bulls would be generating some 10-20 KW power by running some turbine or so using their bull power.and Aadhar would also help in assessing the productivity of each animal separately :) 

Happy e reading.

with best regards

Kuldeep Sharma
Chief Thinking Officer
Suruchi Consultants (ISO 9001:2008 Company)
C-49 Sector-65
Noida 201307