Promoting Dairy Farmingin J&K

Dr. Banarsi Lal
Milk provides instant energy to the body as it contains high quality proteins. It contains sufficient amount of fiber and sugar. It has mere 1gm of fat in every 100 grams of milk. Milk is an important liquid for everybody.Milk helps us to have a better health and to maintain it for achieving our goals of life.Milk helps to develop the body muscles and solves the problem of weakness in the body. Mother milk is also very essential for the children to keep them healthy and fit.Now-a-days people are trying to maintain their body by various types of exercises and Yoga.They are also consuming various types of weight gaining powders without thinking about their side effects.There is dire need to develop the awareness on the positive effects of the milk on our bodies so that we can achieve our goals in our lives.Now-a-days people eat many types of junk food but that can be harmful for the body.Milk contains every type of nutrients which make our body healthy and fit.Milk has many uses for the different people and various types of products can be made from it. India ranks first in milk production but the major production of milk is only from the certain pockets of the country.
Livestock is emerging as an important sector in the economy of Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. This sector plays a significant role in the socio-economic development of J&K. In Jammu and Kashmir the number of animals per 1000 human beings are 882 while at national level this number is only 457 as per livestock census2007.But even then the milk and milk production in J&K is low. In Jammu and Kashmir about 80% of population lives in the rural people and about 60% of the state’s revenue is generated by the agriculture and animal husbandry sector. Dairy farming is a potential source of additional income for the rural people of J&K. The contribution of dairy sector to the national income is invaluable. This sector provides insurance against crop failures. This sector helps in increasing the crop production by providing the drag power, organic manure and cash income on a regular basis. Although India ranked first in milk production but the productivity of milk in hilly areas of J&K is very less. Maximum milk is produced in certain parts of Union Territory of J&K. Lack of technological dairy information sources is one of the reasons of low milk production for the farmers of hilly areas. The major occupation of the rural people of J&K is agriculture and livestock rearing is the major source of income and employment. Agriculture and allied sectors contribute about 38% to J&K gross domestic product of which 11% is contributed by the livestock. Dairy sector not only generates income and employment among the farmers but also supplements the varied nutritional requirements of the individual. Livestock rearing is an integral part of rural J&K. It has been observed that livestock population in Jammu and Kashmir has increased over the years.Milk production in Jammu and Kashmir is steadily increasing. One of the major bottlenecks in low production in dairy sector is Jammu and Kashmir‘s diversified climate e.g. temperate climate in Kashmir region and humid sub-tropical climate in Jammu region. Small size of land holding is another hurdle for limited milk production in J&K as it does not produce much fodder production because of lack of modern technologies in small farms. Department of Animal Husbandry of J&K and SKUAST-Jammu and Kashmir are providing the technological guidelines to the farmers and also providing the frozen semen of pedigree bulls to the veterinary dispensaries.
India is the largest cattle producer in the world and has large animal diversity and is first in buffalo while second in goat production in the world.13 per cent of world’s cattle population and 57 per cent of world’s buffalo population is found in India. Buffaloes contribution towards the milk production in J&K is lesser (0.27%) as compared to the national average (1.84%).Buffaloes breeding programes can be taken in the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. There is dire need of cross breed and Jersey bulls in J&K to improve the cattle breed. The emphasis should be given on the use of advanced breeding tools to increase the breeding bulls for expansion of artificial expansion in J&K. Clinical animal health services with capacity building for superspeciality and advanced medicinal interventions need to be developed. Animal diseases and parasites need to be managed according to the different agro-climatic zones in J&K. Focus should be given on important diseases like foot and mouth disease, mastitis, tuberculosis, metabolic disorders etc. for the safety of animals. Imbalanced animal diet in dairy animals affects their production, reproduction and health. Area specific dairy mineral mixture should be given to the dairy farmers to fulfill the diet of dairy animals. The efforts for the improvement of breed of animals are wasted without proper nutrition. The annual fodder need of J&K is deficit by 60%.From the last one decade the area under fodder in J&K is stagnant.
Majority of livestock rearers in J&K are small and landless farmers who have very limited sources of fodder. Feed and fodder are the main factors for the reduction of dairy development in J&K. Fodder availability especially in the offseason is really a great problem for the dairy farmers. There is need to promote feed and fodder resources in J&K. There is need to promote scientific techniques for hay and silage making. Training on scientific cultivation of fodder should be imparted to the farmers and improved/hybrid seed of different fodder crops should be timely provided to the dairy farmers. Cost-effective nutritious feed should be made by the researchers. Promotions of Urea Molasses Multinutrient Blocks (UMBB) have shown excellent results for the production and reproduction in dairy sector. Research should made in conversion of agricultural products into cattle feed.In hilly terrains still there are certain habitations which lack road connectivity. There is need to develop the infrastructure of dairy plants especially in the hilly areas so that milk collection can be increased. Also there is need to have bulk coolers, refrigeration systems and also to develop the organized markets in the rural areas which further can help in rural development. The focus should be given on small dairy farmers who lack availability of nutritious feed, timely institutional credits, fodder availability in off seasons of the year, timely quality veterinary care etc. Superior breeds of animals should be made available in the rural areas of J&K. The rural areas can purchase the superior breeds of animals if institutional credit is provided to them. There is need to have proper linkage between the scientist, extension workers and dairy farmers. The research in livestock production should be according to the socio-economic conditions of the farmers. Dairy technologies should be made by the scientists according to the socio-economic, size of dairy farm, market approach of the farmers and also the agro-ecological conditions of the region. Let us thank our dairy farmers who bring us the goodness of milk in different forms.
The writer is: Dr. Banarsi Lal, Sr. Scientist & Head of KVK, Reasi (Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology-Jammu) (SKUAST-J).