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Infrastructure of Dairy Farming in Assam With special reference to Morigaon district

Bishnu Prasad Upadhaya Principal, Ghanakanta Baruah College, Morigaon, Assam. Research Scholar, CMJ Shilllong

Abstract

Infrastructure for a certain system or organization refers to underlying foundation or basic framework that requires for proper quality and quantity of production under the system or organization. Morigaon the flood prone district in Assam is also a comparatively backward one. For the development of animal agriculture in the district apart from other components of general infrastructure it requires the development of components like Proper vet care facility, Marketing and Value addition of milk and availability of feed and fodder are considered most important infrastructural component. It is evident that as the population is speedily increasing, to meet the present and future necessity requires proper coordination among the policies for the development of agriculture, forestry and Animal Husbandry and Dairying. It is also envisaged that coordination among the policies along with up to the mark enthusiasm from the part of departmental workers can ensure not only the remunerative prices to the dairy farmers but also ensures cost reduction. Further the production and marketing of eco-friendly by-products like organic manure can ensure the ecological balance guaranteeing employment generation as well as sustainable development of the district and the Nation. Keywords: Infrastructure, animal agriculture, value addition, remunerative prices.
Introduction:
Infrastructure for a certain system or organization refers to underlying foundation or basic framework that requires for proper quality and quantity of production under the system or organization. Milk production is one of the basic

components of animal agriculture. India is the land of cows since time immemorial. India

produces highest quantity of milk in the world. The production level of milk in India in the year 2007-08 was 102 MT. The geographical area of Assam is 78438 sq. Km. supporting 3.11 crore of population in 2011census. The cattle and buffalo population of the state as per 2003 livestock census were 84.19 lakh and 6.7 lakh

respectively. During the year 2008-09, the total milk production in Assam was 827.01 million litres. The state of Assam is divided into six agro-climatic zones based on factors like topography and terrain, ecology and climate influencing land use pattern, crop-mix, cropping intensity and crop productivity and animal husbandry. The agro-climatic zones are (i) Barak Valley Zone (ii) Central Brahmaputra Valley Zone (iii) Lower Brahmaputra Valley Zone (iv) North Bank Plain Zone (v) Upper Brahmaputra Valley Zone and (vi) Hills Zone of Assam. Our study area Morigaon district geographically placed in the Central Brahmaputra Valley Zone with an area of 1557 sq.km. The population of Morigaon District was 7, 76,256 in 2001 census. The number of rural population was 7, 38,268 while that of urban population was 37,988 in the same period. Out of the total population, the SCs accounted for 12.93 percent and ST was 15.55 percent. The district consists of one

subdivision, five community blocks and 85 gaonpanchatyets. There are five revenue circles, 636 villages and towns at present. Morigaon district is rich in animal population, as per livestock census 2003, the cattle and buffalo population were 287200 and 10183 respectively. All the infrastructures of Animal husbandry and Dairying (AH & D) are

necessary for proper quality and required quantity of milk production. In Assam, there Cattle are 454 nos of veterinary Hospitals (ICDP) centres, & dispensaries, 3nos of 10nos of Integrated production

Development

Project

frozen

semen

centres, 7nos of frozen semen bank, 515nos of Artificial Insemination (AI) centres and 4 and 1nos of cattle and buffalo breeding farms. On the other hand Morigaon district has 14nos of dispensaries and 15nos of AI centres only. (Statistical hand book of Assam 2010) As per departmental website The Department is serving the District with one District Veterinary office having one officer, four nos. of Block Veterinary Dispensary and Mobile Veterinary Dispensary; Nine Nos. of Veterinary Dispensaries, one

Regional A.I. Centre and twenty Nos. of Primary Veterinary First aid Centres where ninety two persons are serving in different categories. The per capita availability of milk in the district is estimated at 82 ml, which

is lower than the state average of 92 ml/ day/ person. There is no organised milk procurement in the district, except by one society. Artificial insemination (AI) is being carried out on a low key in the district with only a few

Veterinary Dispensaries are equipped for that. Jersey semen is used for AI purpose. The except Milk for Producers one viz Co-operative Sitajakhala Societies Dugdha (MPCS) Utpadak are mostly non-functional which is

Samabai

Samiti

actively involved in milk production with a membership of 350 numbers in 5 to 6 blocks. The society is producing about 10,000 LPD (Litre per day) and

selling the milk in Nagaon, Morigaon area and to the dairies in Guwahati city (National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development /NABARD (2005) The animal resources occupy an important position in the agricultural economy in Morigaon district. It provides a steady source of income to the people of the district enabling in the improvement of level of living. The dairy sector may serve as an effective tool for wiping out unemployment and

underemployment problem of the district. It may arrest migration of rural poor and low income groups from rural to urban areas. It is also the biggest

employment generation area for illiterate folk of the district. It is the truth that the balanced development of rural livestock among economy is possible only through even distribution of

landless

labourers and marginal farmers. The dairy development

programme can improve the economic standard of men and women belonging to economically disadvantaged group. It helps women and children of such groups to overcome the problem of malnutrition. In Morigaon district, the marginal small landholders and landless agricultural labourers rear the cattle and other livestock in orthodox way possessing one or two animals per household along with a few fowls, ducks and pigeons etc. and in such a way sharing large portion of total cattle

population. These farmers mostly sell the excess milk, meat and eggs. But in the last few years, the dairy farmers of the district, time and again revealing their dissatisfaction on own business. This certainly curves any bodys thought that there exist lapse somewhere, in the structure of infrastructural facilities for animal agriculture and milk production. Methodology: The present exercise is based on the primary and secondary data along with the social review on the basis of knowledge of observation on the business. The simple analysis is used to present the

exercise. Before and after the collection of data personal discussion was made with the farmers of different group and strata. The analysis is done providing equal importance to all the component of the system. To investigate the problems of infrastructure of dairy farming in the district of Morigaon at present day situation it is felt necessary to have a brief discussion on the components of infrastructural facility for dairy farming in the context of study area. The second step of investigation has carried out on the basis of sampling data and then conclusions have been drawn. In very simple way the infrastructure required for developing any area through Dairy Farming and milk production can be enumerated as follows: i. Transportation ii. Credit facilities iii. Proper vet care facility. iv. Marketing and Value addition. v. Availability of feed and fodder. Transportation facility: Both the central and state government making substantial investment for the

implementation of different schemes and projects such as National Highway Development Project, Pradhan Mantri gram Sadak Yojana, Mukhyamantrir Pakipath Nirman

Achani, Assam Bikash Yojana, Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources, Central Road Fund, RIDF Projects, State Annual Plan, AACP funded by world Bank, NEC Scheme, Assam State Road Project etc. have almost on the way to solving the

problem of transportation in Assam. Hence Transportation is not a serious problem in Assam. Credit facilities: Fishes go where, where there is water, where there exist prospects, no dearth of fund. At present day situation in any business if there exist rate of profit higher than that of market interest rate paucity do not exist. But many a time problem of collateral security arises. On the other hand majority of dairy farmers in Assam since 18th century are almost landless. This can be solved by the government by providing the settlement of land ownership.

For the settlement purpose government could have utilized the Village Grazing Grounds (VGGs) or Village Grazing Reserves (VGRs) and Professional Grazing Reserves (PGRs). Proper vet care facility: Departmental Information on the official that website The of animal is taking husbandry all the

(http://morigaon.nic.in/animal.htm)

reads,

Department

care for protecting the animal health and development of the animal husbandry like rearing of exotic breeds of Cattle, Goat and Poultry and producing cross breeds with local breeds and by imparting training programme to the house

wives and unemployed youth and by executing mass vaccination to the animals of the farmers who are newly engaged in the business. On the other hand

NABARD report (2005) revels that the Animal Health Care facilities and the breeding facilities (AI) are also inadequate. Many of the existing veterinary aid facilities are in a poor shape due to irregular availability of medicines, frozen semen and liquid nitrogen. There is an urgent need to improve the veterinary and AI facilities in the district through government efforts or by encouraging private veterinarians. In practical sense, there exists a proper chain for vet-care facility and proper utilization of which can serve a lot. Envisage is that the centre for Vet care facilities are to be allocated as per cattle population and seat quota for cattle/dairy farmers are to be there in veterinary colleges. This will not only attract farmers to the business but also create dedicated workers in the field. Marketing and Value addition: Milk is a perishable commodity. Hence marketing without wasting any time is very much necessary. On the other hand, the farmer producing milk by rearing stall-feed

crossbreed cattle ironically gets time himself to go for marketing. As such where there exist no cooperative or other proper agency for milk marketing the farmer hardly gets remunerative prices. Further if at any place the production concentrates, the surplus milk is to be carried to long or substantial distance. This requires processing plants. Without which curdling losses cannot be arrested with a little exception in winter season. In Morigaon district at present there is no possessing and

preserving facility of milk although a Chilling Plant was installed at Jagiroad with a capacity of 6000 Litres per day (LPD) covering the areas of Jagiroad, Amlighat, Mayang, Manaha, Manaha Kacharigaon, Nelly and Bhakatgaon, the villages of present Morigaon

district (ASSAM STATE GAZETTEER 1999 Vol.-I). In the front of marketing of milk in Morigaon district, except the farmers of

Sitajakhala Dugdha Utpadak Samabai Samiti (SJDUSS) all other producers are dependent upon middlemen and other itinerant traders of unorganised sector. Here it is to be noted that the comparison of movement in all- India wholesale price index of milk and real milk procurement price in Assam: 1997-98 to 2005-06 shows that the

procurement price is rather low (Smita Sirohi et.al.2009) in Assam. In such a situation one can imagine the fate of the product of the farmers in Assam, where majority of departmental chilling plants are defunct. The study carried out in Kenya highlands by Lekasi et.al. (1998), have estimated that the value of manure may be some 30% of the value of milk sold. Sri Shyam Mewara, IAS et.al framing the Dairy Policy Assam-2008 suggests developing livestock market and market for cow dung based vermicompost and other for enhancing the profitability of dairy farms. But the policy is yet to fruition on the practical base. Here it is to be noted that proper processing and marketing facilities for dairy product, animal product and byproducts (i.e. Biopesticide etc.) of dairy farming would certainly farmers thereby

encourage the farmers to go for anaerobic digestion etc. which can benefit monetarily and mitigating the possible manure pollution problems,

sustaining development while maintaining environmental quality. Moreover, rural economic development will benefit from jobs created from the implicit multiplier effect resulting digester systems. Promising future

by implementing

waste-to-profit activities may add to the economic performance of AH &D. These new end-use applications provide added value to coproduces benefiting mostly the farmers. Value addition through dairy processing is an infrastructure for the farmers. This facility arrests the volatility of price of milk in the market and ensures farmers a stable market remunerative price. Installation of such facility needs high volume of

investment, which is not possible by one or two farmers. Therefore departmental authority should encourage leading cooperatives so as financial base of the state can be strengthen perpetuity. Availability of feed and fodder: Availability of feed and fodder are the most urgent need for developing a state through Animal Husbandry and Dairying (AH & D). For the proper and

balanced

supply

of

feed

and

fodder

to the stock of cattle monoculture in both

agriculture and forestry are detrimental. The Report of the working group on animal husbandry and dairying for the Eleventh five year plan (2007-2012) Government of India Planning Commission New Delhi ( Pp 20) submitted under the chairmanship of Dr. Bhasin is evidential that there is acute shortage of feed, fodder and green fodder in India. The situation is even more aggravated in Morigaon along with whole of NER. It is because in the vast plains of NE region hardly other than Paddy is considered as major crop by cultivators. This region is practically dependent upon other parts of India for oilcake, bran and other concentrate, which are very much necessary for crossbreed animals. As such change and rearrangement of cropping pattern

throughout India particularly in this region seems to be necessary, so as the inputs requirement for the growth and development of AH &D becomes available

locally; which in turn can propagate the benefit of crop rotation for reclamation of soil fertility. On the other hand without having proper forestation policy at this juncture of population explosion neither of human or fauna can survive enjoying nutritious

intake. This is the evidence of what the value really the biodiversity and ecosystem possesses. To combat the environmental degradation there exist forestation policy but it lacks clear vision what species of plants, exotic or endemic be selected; so as indigenous species of flora and fauna do not get any set back or get endangered due to new forestation. Here it is to be mentioned that forestation policy may be framed in such a way which can support domestic as well as wild faunas and can control soil erosion, land slide and floods etc. The importance of above mentioned point could be understood if the case of Teak & Pine Plantation in NER and its effect on the indigenous flora & fauna resulting negative change in the income level of local rural. The characteristics of indigenous Himalayan and sub Himalayan forest are that if we dissect, there exist three layers, viz. i) Big trees at the top, ii) Shrubs at the middle and iii) Grass on the beneath. Here it is to be mentioned that in these region rural people has been traditionally using leaves of selective trees and shrubs as well the grass beneath as major source of fodder for their cattle. This is also equally important for proper supporting of wild faunas.

Plantation of teak on foothill region & pine on a bit higher altitude in NER shows that plantation of these breeds retarded the rural Economy as these breeds i) Do not possess any fodder value, ii) Neither of these species allows any shrub or grass to grow beneath.

Due to the lack of grass beneath, the soil thereon remains totally uncovered which during rainy season erode away leading to uplift of river bed in plain area, increasing the danger of floods on lower areas, creating bad to and floras, faunas, Pastorals, Dairy farmers

cultivators. This is one of major reasons why Morigaon district in recent years have to

face devastating range of floods. Therefore, under forest policy proper regulation in selection of plant species as per natural and social location and requirement can, not only resist the environmental degradation but also provide increased amount of fodder etc. to support higher numbers of cattle and more milk production as well. A mention could be made here that beforehand of growing of Pine tree at the Umlapher region of Karbianglong district, Jagiroad Chilling plant was

receiving bulk of raw milk from there. But the production of milk in this region at present is almost zero. Although the above discussion has based on the knowledge of observational study earned through the long years of experience in animal agriculture. But before drawing conclusions it is felt necessary to see through the field study how the farmers have to confront the problems of different infrastructural components. For the purpose sixty nos of Dairy farmers of the village Amlighat and other three villages nearby, in Mayong Block of Morigaon district have been chosen which are also within the operational area of Sitajakhala Dugdha Utpadak Samabai Samittee Ltd. and are asked to rank among the basic Infrastructural problems vide i) problem of labour, ii) problem of feed and fodder, iii) problem of vet-care facilities, iv) problem of marketing v) problem of financial facilities, vi) problem of water and also to vii) specify if there is any other problem. Thus Primary data collected by random sampling. Results and discussion: The result of sampling data show that 80% of the farmers who is in the business at least since last twenty years attribute that the labour scarcity is the first problem for expanding the farm for more production. The same percentage of farmer rates feed & fodder problem as second, problem of vet-care facility as third; the problem of finance as fourth and they believe that marketing is not their problem. The problem of Marketing is tackled by the cooperative. Hence

no individual farmer has to bother about it. When the same question was forwarded to the farmer of a village without having any cooperative 85% farmers having surplus milk to sale rated market as the first; vet-care as the second; feed & fodder as the third; Labour as the fourth and finance as the fifth problem for dairying . The overall scenario from the area under cooperative as revealed by farmers group (table-1) shows that both experienced and established as well as new farmers group have rated scarcity of labour as number one problem, whereas new farmers have rated equally the problem of importance of financial facilities. The problem of Vet-care facility regarded as topmost problem only by 13% and 20% of established and new farmers respectively. The reason thereof is that the majority of the farmers avails vet-care facilities from Veterinary Field Assistant (VFA) and Private AI (Artificial Insemination) Workers at cheap rate. The sampled area being the piedmont area, availability of shallow underground water is the main reason that farmers not rating high the problem of water supply. Table-1: Problems of dairying as rated first by farmers Problem of Established farmer (more than New farmer (less than eight eight years in farming). Labour Feed & Fodder Vet-care Finance others 56% 28% 13% 2% 1% years in farming). 35% 13% 20% 30% 2%

Figure: Problems of dairying as rated by farmers

60% 50% 40% 30% 20% 10%

56%

35% 28% 20% 13% 13% 2% 1%2% 30%

Established farmer (more than eight years in farming). New farmer (less than eight years in farming).

0% Labour Feed & Vet-care Finance others Fodder

During sampling interviews interestingly it is found that Marketing is not a problem at all for the farmers under cooperative; whereas for the farmers of remote area outside operational area of any Milk cooperatives, marketing is first and foremost problem. Majority of the established dairy farmers at initially were marginal farmer or land less laborers and they had begun their farming with tiny scale and has grown todays level and possess goodwill in society. So, they do not feel finance a bottleneck. But these dairy farmers have been heavily dependent on the natural forest in procuring green fodder; as such degradation of forest and malforestation hampers a lot creating them high level of fodder problem. During discussion farmers reveal that after the implementation of NREGA the labour wage jumped up instantly reducing the prospects of surplus productivity of labour in Dairy farming and this is what makes farmers to reply the labour problem is the topmost problem for dairy farming. Manual on Animal Husbandry Statistics published in September 2011 states that so far the methods used for the calculation of cost of production of livestock products have been non-systematic and in most of the rural production systems, cost of the labour input of family members and feeds grazed on the waste lands are ignored, but in the changing scenario all expenditure involved in the production including the wages of the family working hands involved in the production are to be included. This will definitely present a different picture and not only producers but also policy makers may change the strategies and policies vide marketing etc. That is research results found so far without including wages of family working hand as cost of production can hardly depict real situation of livestock sector whether it be dairying or otherwise. This study opines that proper coordination among the policies of forestation, agriculture, cooperative and Animal Husbandry can cope with the labour productivity by reducing the cost

of feed, fodder, vet-care and marketing Secondly value addition not only in the dairy product but also to the animal product and bio-manure product which encouraging organic agri-product required fuel can bring to the the cost of milk production down providing

energy

farm

families along with solving the problem of

environmental hazard, poverty and unemployment. In the conclusion we have to hope that policy makers of the nation would act upon the line of the suggestion of National commission on farmers so as nation can place faces before figure as an indicator of progress of our country. Note Malforestation : Selection of species of plants for artificial forestation without considering future impact on Nature .society environment etc.

Biliography: 1. Lekasi J K et.al. (1998): Manure management in Kenya highlands: Practices and potential. Natural Resources Systems Programme, Department of International Development (DFID), UK, and Henry Doubleday Research Association, Emerson Press, Farmers word Road, Kenilworth, UK. 2. Smita Sirohiet.al. (2009): Formal Milk Processing Sector in Assam: Lessons to be Learnt from Institutional Failure. Agricultural Economics Research Review,Vol. 22 July-December 2009, pp 245-254. 3. NABARD (2005): Potential Linked Credit Plan, (2006-2007) ; Morigaon District, Assam 4. P. Lusk(1998): National Methane Recovery from Animal Manures: The Current Opportunities Casebook; NREL/SR-580-25145; National Renewable Energy Laboratory, 1617 Cole Boulevard Golden, Colorado 80401-3393 A national laboratory of the U.S. Department of Energy Managed by Midwest Research Institute for the U.S. Department of Energy under contract No. DE-AC36-83CH10093. 5. Sh. N.C. Saxena(2002): Forest, People and Profit net equations for sustainability. 6. Assam State Gazetteer (1999): Government of Assam, Guwahati. Vol.-I, The editor-in-Chief, District Gazetteers,

7. Report: Working group on animal husbandry and dairying for the Eleventh five year plan (2007-2012) Government of India, Planning Commission, New Delhi. 8. Statistical hand book of Assam (2010): Directorate of Economics and Statistics, Planning and Development Department Government of Assam. 9. JUGAL SAIKIA (2009): Economics of Informal Milk Producing Units in Guwahati City; A thesis submitted for the award of doctor of Philosophy in economics North-Eastern Hill University Shillong, Meghalaya .

10. CsoMAhbs( 2011): Manual, Animal Husbandry Statistics, September 2011 Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation Central Statistics Office, Social Statistics Division RK Puram, New Delhi-110066; www.mospi. 11. NCF (2006): Serving Farmer and saving Farming; A Draft National Policy for Farmers GOI, New Delhi 13th April, 2006). 12. Dr.B.C.Bhowmick et.al.(1999): Farming System In Assam; Department of Agricultural Economics, Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat- 785013. 13. Economic survey of Assam (2010-11): Government of Assam Directorate of Economics and Statistics,

14. Government website: (http://morigaon.nic.in/animal.htm ) 15.Statistical Handbook of Assam(2010)