Rural dairy farming and alleviation
By Dr Baz Muhammad Junejo
are about 125 million livestock in the country, of which 50
per cent are large ruminants (cattle and buffaloes) and 50
per cent small ruminants (sheep and goats) which is growing
at a rate of 3–5 per cent annually.
Punjab and Sindh are the
major holders of the livestock i.e. 52 per cent and 26 per
cent respectively with the best milch breeds of cattle and
The area is suitable for
dairy farming with a lot of potential for its growth.
The sector is important
both from food security point of view and job opportunities
for around 10 million people of Sindh.
The country is earning about
Rs60 billion from dairy export every year. About 75 per cent
of the rural population is engaged in livestock rearing and
its livelihood depends on this important sector.
Livestock contributes about 9.4 per cent to the GDP, and 40
per cent value addition to agriculture sector. More than 90
per cent farmers are small holders and possess about 1-4
animals. Hardly five per cent have more than 100 animals and
are busy in their farming business at commercial level.
Production of livestock products per year is as under:
The per capita per annum availability of milk in the country
is 80.5 litres, and meat 16.5 kg which is far below the
minimum required level of 27.5 grams of protein daily.
Because of the acute shortage
of animal protein in diet, people are prone to various
diseases particularly in the less developed areas where the
The rural areas of the country are suitable for livestock
rearing and the people, both male and female, have the
knowledge of rearing livestock. It is, therefore, necessary
that they are provided with facilities to own livestock and
rear them properly with the following objectives:
To increase milk and meat production; provide jobs to
unemployed rural people, specially rural women; increase
income of rural people; alleviate poverty in rural and less
developed areas; help develop rural areas and eradicate
social evils; provide food security; increase efficiency of
agriculture sector; provide security against crop failure;
reactivate closed milk plants; improve milk collection
system and increase export earning.
Each farmer’s family should be provided with a credit
facility from agriculture bank/or any other commercial bank
on easy terms and condition like takawi loan for purchase of
10 milking animals i.e. six buffaloes and four cows as mixed
dairy farming is more profitable.
These dairy farms should be
provided with required high protein diet so that the milk
contains more than six per cent fat. The recovery of credit
may be started after one month from the date of purchase of
animals on weekly basis through a planned and
In the first phase,
in each district about 5,000 farmers should be
provided with such credit for purchase of 10 milking
animals (newly calved) i.e. about Rs0.5 million
including money for the purchase of cans, ropes,
chains, buckets and other relevant accessories with
15 days ration / fodder etc.
Each farmer would thus manage to produce about 40 to
50 litres of milk a time and 100 litres a day.
This way each district will
produce an extra 0.5 million litres of milk a day. Due to
improved management and availability of feed in the area
production of milk would increase by 30 to 40 per cent.
Districts for dairy farming and animal breeding should be
carefully selected for the purpose i.e. Malir in Karachi,
Hyderabad, Badin, T.M. Khan, Tando Allah Yar, Matiari, half
of Sukkur and half of Mirpurkhas, half of Jamshoro, Dadu,
Naushehro Feroze, Shikarpur, Larkana, Sukkur and Ghotki in
This way about 7.5 million
litres of milk would be produced daily and about 350,000
male and 350,000 female cow and buffalo calves would be
produced yearly with more manure for agricultural land.
To purchase milk from farmers and provide them technical
facilities, a concept may be adopted based on the pattern
exercised in India, where milk collection all required
services are provided through one-window operation at a
centre called dairy development and extension centre.
Every village with a population of about 500 farmers should
be provided with a dairy development and extension centre.
The centre should register
the farmers of the area and provide them with facilities of
milk collection; supply of processed feed; artificial
insemination service; health services; parasite control;
natural breeding services through high pedigreed bulls;
supply of multi-cutting, fodder seeds; credit facilities;
and arranging cattle shows to create a sense of competition
among the farmers.
The centre should also
arrange training of farmers both male and female on modern
Animal health, parasite control, breeding and training
services should be provided free of charge, where as other
services should be provided on no-loss and no-profit basis.
These dairy development and extension centres should be
linked with milk plants (at least 30 centers with one milk
These milk plants should
arrange credit facilities through banks on easy terms and
conditions and collect milk / from these centers, through
tankers and arrange training of milk collectors and
technical persons working at the centres.
Modem techniques of livestock
management and production, competitions should be arranged
among these centres and awards ceremonies held for best
workers, milk collectors, farmers and fodder growers.
Courtesy: Dawn News
The recovery of credit, feed and other service charges
should be made from the income of milk on weekly basis with
1-2 per cent additional charge for development of the area
like, roads, school buildings, furniture, medical and
maternity facilities etc. in consultation with the farmers /
members of the centre.
New systems of milk marketing on pattern of India may be
introduced i.e. sale through milk booths, both in localities
of the rich and the poor, with high and low fat contents
along with other products like, yoghurt, ice cream, ghee,
The programme, if introduced, would upgrade the livestock of
the country by introducing high yielding animals and
specially breeding bulls in the farming system, and
modernise the technology of keeping animals healthy and
Through this project in addition to other benefits, about
75,000 unskilled and about 25,000 skilled workers may be
engaged in dairy jobs.