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Maintaining milk quality a challenge

Maintaining milk quality a challenge


Parveen Arora

With an annual milk production of 107.20 lakh tonnes, Haryana is at the seventh spot on the all-India list. The state government is encouraging farmers to rear indigenous breeds of cattle like Hariana, Gir, Sahiwal, Tharparkar etc. by providing subsidy and loans. However, dairy farmers are struggling mainly due to the non-availability of good germplasm of indigenous cattle as high-yielding animals of pure indigenous breed are lesser in number and costly.


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Farmers are bearing the brunt of malpractices in the animal trade due to the presence of intermediaries who lure the farming community on the pretext of providing good germplasm of high-yielding animals.

The farmers of Haryana, one of the major hubs of milch animals in the country, are also facing challenges of quality feed and fodder, efficient disease management practices and issues related to milk quality. Moreover, they are not getting remunerative prices for their milk against the cost of production. Most farmers are still not aware of proper vaccination of livestock, due to which the mortality rate is high, leading to losses to the farmers. Haryana is among the few states which have initiated the process of livestock insurance, but the farmers’ response is not encouraging.

However, some farmers are earning profit from the breeding of animals by selling them in the open market. Narinder Narwal, a progressive farmer who rears around 150 animals at his dairy farm at Narukheri village in Karnal, admits that the cost of production of milk is high and not getting a good price for quality milk has forced him to shift his attention to the animal trade. “I am getting about Rs 30 per litre of cow milk from the cooperative sector, while the cost of production is more than that. I am selling animals across the country directly to farmers and have even exported Murrah buffalo to Bangladesh,” he says.

He says the shortage of good germplasm of indigenous breeds is a big challenge for the dairy farmers, particularly beginners.

Sunil Mehla, a progressive farmer of Jhanjhari village in the district who rears 50 animals, cites low milk prices, shortage of good breeds of cattle and lack of an organised market as the key issues.

“Farmers like me struggle a lot to get good germplasm of indigenous breeds. The corporate as well as the cooperative sector is not giving a good price to farmers. I prefer to sell my milk to milkmen,” he says. He claims that maintaining the quality of milk is tough for common farmers in the state.

Scientists at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI), Karnal, say that due to the sub-tropical climate, the spoilage bacteria and pathogens may rapidly grow in milk after milking if it is not chilled within the stipulated time. “The challenges in organised dairy farming are maintaining the hygiene and quality of milk. The NDRI is playing a key role in providing rapid sensor-based kits to stakeholders involved in the dairy food chain to ensure the quality and safety of milk,” says Naresh Kumar, Principal Scientist, NDRI.


NDRI offers training

RRB Singh, NDRI head, says the institute is helping dairy farmers through the farm school concept. The Krishi Vigyan Kendra and the business planning and development unit offer commercial dairy farming courses which are helpful for those who want to start the business with a scientific approach. The National Referral Centre for milk quality and safety helps in quality assessment of milk and milk products.

Govt subsidy

Rajbir Vats, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, says there is no shortage of good germplasm in Haryana. Farmers can avail good germplasm of indigenous cattle from semen banks established by the state government in Yamunanagar, Hisar and Rohtak. He says the government offers subsidy of 50 per cent to SC category farmer as well as to establish dairy of indigenous cattle for all categories.


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