1. Animal Husbandry

Dairy Farming in Punjab: How Successful It Is?

Shikha Parewa
Shikha Parewa
Cow
Cow

Dairy farming is a branch of agriculture that includes breeding, raising and use of dairy animals, mainly cows, for the milk production and the different dairy products processed from it. Cows, goats and buffalo are the main source of milk for human consumption in India. Dairy farming is slowly becoming popular in every part of India. Dairy farming is a tool for socio-economic development that provides a good amount of earnings. 

Dairy farming for commercial purpose in Punjab

If you want to start dairy farming as a full time business then it is important for you to know that it requires high milk productive dairy cows for good production of milk. A proper plan is also required before starting any business so that everything goes smoothly and efficiently. You will require some place/ land, cows of good breed and other assets to start dairy farming. It also requires high input costs and a good mechanization.  

This branch of farming is one of the important sources of income in Punjab. Around 6000 farmers are engaged in dairy farming business with farms varying in size from 10 to 500 high-yielding cow breeds and producing about 12 to 15 lakh liters of milk per day. According to Punjab Dairy Development Board (PDDB), there were only 600 commercial dairy farms while it has been increased to 6000 commercial farms in Punjab. This high increase in number of dairy farming shows that enterprising farmers are showing interest in this sector. 

Required animal feed

Dairy animals require a certain set of nutrients to support their body and give birth to a calf. Good productivity of milk depends on the food that farmers provide to their cattle. Although cows can survive on the grass but now they need artificially produced supplements as agricultural produce reducing in these days.  

Many other dietary components are required for cows to main their health. Protein is very crucial nutrient for cows as it determines the quality and quantity of milk. Protein rich food for cow includes grass-gegumepasture, alfalfa, etc. Salt and minerals are other sub-nutrients essential for the milk production. Hay, silage and grain are some of the feeding options for dairy cows. 

How successful is dairy business in Punjab? 

Till 2016, commercial dairy farming was the most popular and demanding business in Punjab but slowly it has lost its popularity. And it was found that mostly young educated farmers in Punjab were involved in dairy business. Sources says that growth was hampered by high input costs, reduced profits and a shortage of machinery. 

Progressive dairy farmers have said that many farms have gone out of business in the past three years because of a lack of viable proposals. According to the Punjab Dairy Development Board (PDDB), the number of such farms has stagnated at 10,000 over the past three years. 

It is believed by farmers of Punjab believe that dairy farming is difficult and not much mechanization has been explored in this sector. This is the reason that younger generation is not willing to pursue with dairy farming. 

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