A success story in small dairy farming
By Munawar Hasan
Khan, May 02, 2011: Ancestor of Ameer Khan Sial, a small
dairy farmer of a remote village of Rahim Yar Khan, never
sold milk despite having milking animals.
But lately, they have got acquainted with cost effective and
simple measures of developing community farms and thus have
been able to almost double milk production in a short span
of time. Now, after convincing their elders, they are
selling milk to a processor and are earning thousands of
rupees, thanks to continuous efforts made by Dairy Pakistan
with collaboration of Jahangir Khan Tareen, local member
Ameer Khan, who lives in Basti Sial of Tehsil Sadiqabad, is
also president of community based organization of 30 small
dairy farmers. During a visit of area a few days back, he
told a group of journalists that people of area were not
willing to be part of community dairy development project
because they did not like to sell milk. "Milk is a gift of
God and should not be sell at any cost," he quoted his
elders as having said.
However, when we learned that milk shortage was increasing
day by day with surging demand we started taking interest in
increasing milk production. In the meantime, Dairy Pakistan,
a company established by federal government started survey
of area in 2008 for initiating Community Dairy Development
Project. Foreign experts along with local team comprising
young people contacted dairy farmers of Basti Sial to be
part of this project.
They were asked to be part of programme and enhance milk
production with simple steps. Dairy Pakistan asked us to
untie animals and provide round the clock access to water.
Beside other tips, he said, they discouraged use of wheat
straw with fresh fodder. They also provided us opportunity
to directly contact buyer of milk for getting better price.
At that moment, Ameer Khan observed, when our milk
production started to increase we sought permission of our
elders to sell surplus milk, arguing that people in urban
areas had no animals and thus were facing acute shortage of
milk. Finally, our elders allowed us to sell milk on
commercial basis. It was a virtual change in our norms or
you can say in belief.
Now, in about two years, he blissfully said, we have 100
liters daily surplus milk production as we almost doubled
per animal production of milk with the help of Dairy
Similar was outcome of CBO established in Chah Kinni village
which is located approximately 3km west of the Karachi -
Lahore - Peshawar Road in District Rahimyar Khan. Chah Kinni
is a remarkable example of what can be achieved with vision,
leadership and 'hands on' practical work by skilled, trained
and committed staff.
As a socio-economic view of village after intervention made
by Dairy Pakistan, Nadeem Abbas, district team leader said,
villagers under CBO managed to sell their milk at Rs 38 per
liter instead of Rs 18. The next step was to increase milk
production per animal for this we commenced an ambitious
programme of shed and fence construction so that the animals
could be untied, provided with good shelter from the extreme
weather and most importantly, given free access to water 24
hours a day. This led to an increase in production to 11
liters per day per animal.
The early reports from Chah Kinni estimated that farmers
were making a loss of Rs1800 per household per month due to
high cost of production against relatively less price of
milk. Doubling of dairy incomes was made possible in a very
short period as not only number of animals increased to 229
from 150 and average milk production was increased from 4.48
liter per animal to 11 liters. Earlier, dairy farmers were
earning Rs 28,800 per month from milk selling and now after
getting guidance from Dairy Pakistan they have succeeded in
earning Rs 228.000.
The programme has produced many other success stories in
different parts of the country. Five such farms are
currently being run in Rahim Yar Khan out of total 49 farms.
Severe shortage of funds has led to slow down activities of
this important project. Now, Jahangir Khan Tareen has
decided to provide funds from his own pocket for setting up
30 such farms in Rahimyar Khan District in next three years.
The Community Farms Programme is a major part of Dairy
Pakistan interventions in the dairying sector throughout
Pakistan and is aimed specifically at poverty alleviation in
the many poor rural communities throughout the country.
Under this programme, farmers are assisted in silage making,
storing milk in chillers and setting up bio gas plants.
Unlike most programmes the Community Farms Programme does
not 'give' materials or material assistance to farmers - it
is a programme based entirely on sustainable self help with
training, guidance and leadership from a team of Community
Farm Advisors in the field. The team of advisors will
normally consist of a veterinarian, an agronomist, an animal
nutritionist, and a social mobiliser.
Community Dairy Farm project is part of Dairy Pakistan,
which was established in late 2005 under an initiative taken
by the then Minister for Industries, Jahangir Khan Tareen.
It was primarily mandated to work with small livestock
owners to bring a quantum change in dairy management.