Why do Dairy Farming ?

imageDairying is an important source of subsidiary income to small/marginal farmers and agricultural labourers. The manure from animals provides a good source of organic matter for improving soil fertility and crop yields. The gober gas from the dung is used as fuel for domestic purposes as also for running engines for drawing water from well. The surplus fodder and agricultural by-products are gainfully utilised for feeding the animals. Almost all draught power for farm operations and transportation is supplied by bullocks.

Since agriculture is mostly seasonal, there is a possibility of finding employment throughout the year for many persons through dairy farming. Thus, dairy also provides employment throughout the year. The main beneficiaries of dairy programmes are small/marginal farmers and landless labourers. A farmer can earn a gross surplus of about Rs. 12,000 per year from a unit consisting of 2 milking buffaloes. The capital investment required for purchase of 2 buffaloes is Rs. 18,223/-. s
According to World Bank estimates about 75 per cent of India's 940 million people are in 5.87 million villages, cultivating over 145 million hectares of cropland. Average farm size is about 1.66 hectares. Among 70 million rural households, 42 per cent operate upto 2 hectares and 37 per cent are landless households. These landless and small farmers have in their possession 53 per cent of the animals and produce 51 per cent of the milk. Thus, small/marginal farmers and land less agricultural labourers play a very important role in milk production of the country. Dairy farming can also be taken up as a main occupation around big urban centres where the demand for milk is high.
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Scope for Dairy Farming and its National Importance.

imageThe total milk production in the country for the year 2001-02 was estimated at 84.6 million metric tonnes. At this production, the per capita availability was to be 226 grams per day against the minimum requirement of 250 grams per day as recommended by ICMR. Thus, there is a tremendous scope/potential for increasing the milk production. The population of breeding cows and buffaloes in milk over 3 years of age was 62.6 million and 42.4 million, respectively (1992 census)

Central and State Governments are giving considerable financial assistance for creating infrastructure facilities for milk production. The nineth plan outlay on Animal Husbandry and Dairying was Rs. 2345 crores.

Financial Assistance Available from Banks/NABARD for Dairy Farming.

imageNABARD is an apex institution for all matters relating to policy, planning and operation in the field of agricultural credit. It serves as an apex refinancing agency for the institutions providing investment and production credit. It promotes development through formulation and appraisal of projects through a well organised Technical Services Department at the Head Office and Technical Cells at each of the Regional Offices.

3.2 Loan from banks with refinance facility from NABARD is available for starting dairy farming. For obtaining bank loan, the farmers should apply to the nearest branch of a commercial or co-operative Bank in their area in the prescribed application form which is available in the branches of financing banks. The Technical Officer attached to or the Manager of the bank can help/give guidance to the farmers in preparing the project report to obtain bank loan.

3.3 For dairy schemes with very large outlays, detailed reports will have to be prepared. The items of finance would include capital asset items such as purchase of milch animals, construction of sheds, purchase of equipments etc. The feeding cost during the initial period of one/two months is capitalised and given as term loan. Facilities such as cost of land development, fencing, digging of well, commissioning of diesel engine/pumpset, electricity connections, essential servants' quarters, godown, transport vehicle, milk processing facilities etc. can be considered for loan. Cost of land is not considered for loan. However, if land is purchased for setting up a dairy farm, its cost can be treated as party's margin upto 10% of the total cost of project.

Scheme Formulation for bank loan.

Scheme can be prepared by a beneficiary after consulting local technical persons of State animal husbandry department, DRDA, SLPP etc., dairy co-operative society/union/federation/commercial dairy farmers. If possible, the beneficiaries should also visit progressive dairy farmers and government/military/agricultural university dairy farm in the vicinity and discuss the profitability of dairy farming. A good practical training and experience in dairy farming will be highly desirable. The dairy co-operative societies established in the villages as a result of efforts by the Dairy Development Department of State Government and National Dairy Development Board would provide all supporting facilities particularly marketing of fluid milk. Nearness of dairy farm to such a society, veterinary aid centre, artificial insemination centre should be ensured. There is a good demand for milk, if the dairy farm is located near urban centre.

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