Integrated Buffalo Development Centres (IBDCs) in Dairy Sector
To check on the falling productivity of the buffaloes, which are the primary source of milk in Punjab, on the recommendations of the Punjab State Farmers' Commission, the Punjab Government undertook an Intensive Buffalo Breed Improvement and Management Programme under Rashtriya Krishi Vigyan Yojana (RKVY). This scheme has been implemented by Milkfed, with technical support and expertise from the state animal husbandry department and in close association with NGO BAIF and J.K.Trust in buffalo breeding.
The programme is aimed at supplementing the income of small farmers and rural landless workers in the state. Under the programme, 600 Integrated Buffalo Development Centers (IBDCs) covering 300 villages would be set in the area of Kandi, Bet, Border and trans-Ghaggar area at a cost of Rs. 60 crore under RKVY over five years. Under this project, 200 IBDCs have already been established and are operated by local educated unemployed youth.
The project has the following objectives:
a) To increase the percentage coverage of breedable population of buffaloes and cows under A.I. programme.
b) To create an appropriate economic and production environment for the small dairy farmers who have very poor access to the existing services.
c) To improve productivity of the local milch animals, especially the buffalo through artificial insemination, balanced feeding, deworming, first aid services, vaccination and management.
d) To minimize the infertility problems through proper treatment of the animals by organizing infertility camps.
e) To reduce the risk of milch animals and calf mortality by protecting them through prophylactics vaccinations and to provide 24x7 AI Services at the door steps of farmers.
Govt. of Punjab has already released Rs. 2870 lacs to the Federation to implement this project.
A third party evaluation was done by Centre for Research in Rural and Industrial Development (CRRID) for impact assessment of the IBDC Programme and it was found that:
- The method of Insemination is better than the natural service which was more prevalent in the buffaloes.
- The success rate of AI with respect to calves born is around 50% or above.
- The addition of about 86000 improved female buffalo calves in the State in a span of about four years i.e. from the year 2011 to 2015 is a big achievement.
- Average per day increase in milk production of F1 as compared to indigenous buffalo during first lactation is about 2.5 liters per day more which clearly confirmed that IBDC Programme has resulted in a significant increase in the milk yield of the new progeny and it is expected that it will further improve when F2 will reach lactation stage.
- The average Fat and SNF% of BM is 7.13% and 8.82 % respectively and the prevailing rate of buffalo milk is about Rs. 530 per kilogram fat (around Rs. 40). Thus, the increased milk yield when translated into monitory terms resulted in the increase of Rs. 100 per day in the income of the dairy farmer during lactation period. Moreover, if he decides to sell of his F1 buffalo or F1 or F2 female calf, he can get much higher price than the indigenous buffalo or indigenous female calf.
- This additional yield of milk from F1 buffalo adds about Rs. 90 to Rs. 100 per animal per day to the income of the farmer. This clearly shows that the programme has succeeded in achieving its intended objective, that is, to enhance income level of small farmers and landless workers in Punjab through buffalo breed improvement and management programme.
- Up till the month of Dec., 2015 from the inception of the IBDC Programme from Oct., Nov., and Dec., 2010, total AI done is 1247664 (buffalo 737520 and cow 510144), the main reason for its higher acceptability is that AI services are provided even in odd hours of the day and night by the IBDC Incharge at the door steps of the farmers who are available to a cluster of 7-8 villages from morning till evening for all 7 days of a week and the convenience to contact them on phone has contributed significantly.
- Till date, 456443 calves have been born (buffaloes- 285176 and cows- 171267). If 50% of the calves born are considered as male then 228222 calves are considered female calves. The addition of about 228222 calves in the state in a span of about 4 to 5 years is no mean achievement and that also increase of average milk yield per day of F1 about 2.5 liter more, translating into monitory terms, an increase of Rs. 100 per day in the income of the dairy farmers.
- From above, it is concluded that dairy farming is an important subsidiary occupation for farmers as well as non farmers in Punjab. This occupation has fairly high potential to enhance the income of small and marginal farmers as well as rural landless workers. Since buffalo is the main dairy animal in Punjab, improvement in the existing non-descript breeds of buffalo through artificial insemination has been visualized as the solution to enhance the productivity of this dairy animal.
- Concentrates- To feed technical input services, Milkfed has established its own feeding units cattle feed plants having capacity of 500 MTs per day. Apart from ISI Type-II cattle feed, Milkfed is producing Verka Premium & Verka Gold Cattle Feeds; Area Specific Mineral Mixture and Urea Molasses Lick Brick and supplying to the farmers of Punjab through its network. During the year 2014-15, Milkfed has produced 63767 MTs and sold 66448 MTs of cattle feed. 54771 MTs of cattle feed has been Produced and 54463 MTs of cattle feed has been sold till December, 2015 to milk producer members as per their requirements.