It is a un- deniable fact that, the dairy industry contributes in large numbers to the economic growth and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country. It plays an indispensable role in the global food system and the upliftment and sustainability of the rural sectors, in a country. An augmenting demand of dairy products, is witnessed worldwide owing to which the dairy industry is progressing intensively.
Learning lessons from the past, the SAD – BJP led Government of Punjab has taken efficient steps for business management of the dairy enterprise. Keeping in view, the reduction of the prices of milk, Single Farm Payment and ensuing tightening of margins, in contrast to uncertainty of quotas in future, it has been of immense significance to monitor flock performance on a regular basis. From replacing obsolete and conventional techniques of dairy farming, to precise management decisions for the business the government has left no stone un turned to step on the ladder of progress. The Punjab chief minister , Mr. Prakash Singh Badal during a meeting at Punjab Bhawan, gave approval to resurrect the ‘ Farmers Service Center ’ in the state.
According to the last livestock Census for 2012 statistics, Punjab had approximately 18.24 lakh female exotic/ cross-bred cattle, out of which 11.34 lakh were adult milch cows. In contrast to which, there were a mere number of 1.7 lakh female indigenous cattle, comprising of 1.03 lakh milch animals. The State animal husbandry department officials estimated the count of desi cows in Punjab in the range of 40,000 – 50,000. The apex mission of the Government of Punjab towards the dairy industry, as stated by the official website of Punjab Dairy Development Board (PDDB) is, “Promoting expansion and modernization of dairying, facilitating increase in production of milk and productivity of milch animals, improving and maintaining the quality of milk.”
Free of cost trainings are provided to the dairy farmers for rearing of indigenous cattle through the Farmers Service Centers, by the Punjab Dairy Development Board (PDDB). Inderjit Singh, the additional chief executive officer of PDDB stated that, “We have trained around 200 farmers till date at our various centers which include Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Patiala and Firozpur. They have been made aware about the merits of desi cows. We are receiving several queries now from farmers across the state for opening units,”
Owing to the firm determination and efficient working of the Farmers Service Centers, the massive number of dairy farms are not just involved in production of milk from cows, but also in the business of commercial rearing of the Holstein Friesian (HF) crossbred calves, which are annually transported to other states, thereby, contributing to economic development of the Punjab state.
There are various dairy training and extension services for the farmers, with the vision of making the farmers self-sufficient. The dairy farmers which usually include the un-employed rural youth, are imparted six weeks, two weeks and one day training which provide them an in-depth insight into dairy farm management, pregnancy diagnosis, milk handling etc. With the initiation of the Milk Producers Training and Extension Service Programme, Punjab has stepped further on the ladder of progress.