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Productivity of cattle and buffaloes kept by different categories of farmers at village level Manoj Sharma and Gurdeep Singh

Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kapurthala
The main objective of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (K.V.K) is to transfer the latest innovations/technologies developed by the research institutes among the rural unemployed youth, farmers and farm-women for increasing the productivity level and to create job opportunities through allied agribusinesses. The livestock is the major mainstay in rural people of Punjab and the milch / draft animals are kept by all the farmers irrespective of their categories and their number depends upon the size of the farm, location, knowledge about the technical know-how and above all, about the understanding of its marketing. An effort was made to conduct a dairy husbandry study in the village Mothanwala. It is situated on Kapurthala-Sultanpur road at a distance of 25 km. from K.V.K. Kapurthala. A benchmark survey was planned to assess the status of dairy farming and for formulating a strategy to bring a sea-change in the milk yield through balanced diet, after fulfilling the mineral needs of the animals. The study was conducted as under: Procedure followed A questionnaire was developed to collect information through interview. A total number of 67 farmers were interviewed and the farmers were selected randomly. They were classified into 5 categories on the basis of their size of holdings viz. category, I (landless); category, II (0-2 ha): category, III (2.1-4.0 ha): category, IV (4.1-6 ha) and category V6.0ha). The data regarding number of milch animals (Cows and buffaloes), milk yield (1t/day), feed and fodder availability/animal/day were recorded. Besides this, information

2 about the health of animals, disease control programme and reproductive efficiency of the herds was also collected. Inferences on the analysis of data The data presented in Table 1. revealed that the maximum number of the farmers were found in category-II (50.7%). The corresponding values for the category I, III, IV, V were respectively, 6.0, 22.4, 10.4, and 10.4 percent. Milk yield The data related to cows revealed that out of total 180 cow, 36.1 percent cows were kept by V category farmers (>6.0ha). Contrary to this, the cows in milk were found

maximum with II category farmers (0-2 ha), clearly indicating the better management of cows by the small farmers in comparison to the large farmers (Table 1). Interestingly, the date further demonstrate that highest value of milk yield/day was obtained with landless farmers (5.0 1t /day) as compared to 3.9, 4.9, 4.5 and 2.4 1t /day cow in category II, III, IV and V respectively. The date regarding the wet average (total milk yield/cows in milk) evinced that the highest wet average (7.4 1t/day cow) was found with category III (farmers with land holdings between 2.1 to 4.0 ha). The corresponding value for the I, II, IV and V category was 5.7, 5.3, 5.4 and 6.5 1t/day cow, respectively. The high yield with category III was probably due to more and ensured supply of green fodder and concentrate during the month of January (lean period). It was followed by category (V) (> 6.0 ha) further confirmed the increase in milk yield as result of feeding of more amount of concentrates. It is a known fact that large farmers usually fed more amount of concentrates due to their better economical conditions. As per the economics, feed alone contributes 70-75 percent of the total expenditure involved in milk production.

3 Performance of Buffaloes In contrast to cow, largely the buffaloes are kept by the II category farmers (0-2 ha) comprising 40.2 percent followed by III, IV, V and I category (Table 2). A similar trend was observed for the buffaloes in milk. On the other hand, the highest average yields of milk/buffalo/day was found to be under category I (5.8 lt / day) the lowest under category V (2.9 1t ). A similar trend was also observed in case of cow’s milk production which revealed that the rich farmers pay least consistent attention towards dairy farming during the year round. Moreover, their animals are generally attended by the hired labourers, who are ignorant about the significance of feeding and management of dairy animals, While the wet average was found highest in category I (landless) followed by IV, V, II and III farmers clearly showing the significance of green fodder on buffalo milk production because the landless labourers manage the green fodder in large quantity owing to their less number of animals and rather provide better management facilities like number of bathing per day during hot months and better housing facility like soft floor during winter months which affect the milk yield. Secondly, the large farmers are having the perception that inbred cows respond quickly and heavily to concentrate feeding while the buffaloes respond less. Crucial factors affecting milk yield Use of feed considering the kind of animals, age of animals, stage of pregnancy etc. affect considerably on the milk production. Sole dependence on readymade feeds such as VERKA, MARKFED and P-MARKA feeds. Sometime, poor quality feed shows the adverse effects. Less use of mineral mixture, an essential component of the animal diet. Only 10 percent farmers are making the use of these mixture. Majority of the farmers keep their animals under-nourished. Rarely, any farmer informed that he is serving the animals as per P.A.U. recommendation.

4 Imbalance in the use of green fodders and dry roughages also affect the milk yield. Use of home made mixture such as wheat bran, oil seed cake, cotton seed cake, crushed cereals (wheat and maize) without taking into account their nutritive value. These ingredients can prove very useful if the other essential components are included for making them relished and nutritious. Least attention is given to preserve the green fodder through silage making when the green fodder is available in surplus during the month of July-August and FebruaryMarch for ensuring smooth fodder supply in the lean period, need to be emphasized among farming community. Thus, it is now clear and pertinent to mention over here that there is an urgent need to acquaint the farmer with the latest technology of animal husbandry with regards to management, nutrition, use of green and dry fodders and above all about the balanced diet seems a priori for increasing milk yield of each location.

Acknowledgement: The authors are thankful to S. Baljit Singh, Demonstrator ( Animal Science) working at KVK Kapurthala for providing help in conducting the survey work.