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 !
Chief Thinking Officer
Suruchi Consultants (ISO 9001:2008 Company)