Fall in productivity of buffalo has been a cause of concern for Punjab. There were 6,170,730 buffaloes in the state in 1997, which further declined to 5,994,540 in 2003. In 2007, the population of buffaloes further declined and touched 5,035,630. Further, their yield has also gone down drastically over the years. As a result, the income of the farmers from the milk fetched too low.
On the initiative of the Punjab State Farmers Commission, the Punjab government has approved the project to establish 300 integrated buffalo development centres, each covering 5-6 villages in the first phase, which later on will extended to cover the entire state.
To improve the milk productivity of milch animals, especially buffaloes, by providing Artificial Insemination service at the doorstep of the farmers, Milkfed runs the Integrated Buffalo Development Centre (IBDC) Programme; funded under Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana (RKVY) Scheme of Govt. of India.
This project aims at establishing 600 IBDCs and each of them operated by a local educated unemployed youth, covering 5-6 villages with a radius of 5 Kms to 10 Kms. These centres propagate Artificial Insemination in buffaloes with semen of bulls with milk yielding potential of 4,000 litres per lactation. IBDCs not only provide instant service to the farmers for Artificial Insemination of animals but also render service of deworming, vaccination, first aid, management and supply of fodder seed.
For effective implementation of this scheme, it is important to create an appropriate economic and production environment for the small dairy farmers who have very poor access to the existing services. In order to reduce calf mortality, dairy farmers should get their cattle protected through prophylactic vaccinations.
After the implementation of the scheme, IBDCs addition of about 86000 improved female calves of buffalo in the State in a span of about four years i.e. from the year 2011 to 2015 is a big achievement.