Saturday, 20 February 2016

White Revolution with Cattle Shed Scheme

White Revolution with Cattle Shed Scheme

After promoting Green Revolution in Punjab, now the State government is making hardcore efforts to launch a ‘white revolution’ in the state. Chief Minister of Punjab, Parkash Singh Badal has emphasized the need to make a shift from the traditional agriculture to dairy farming. Dwelling upon this, government is focusing on encouraging dairy sector, setting-up organized dairy farms, re-orienting procurement of raw milk, scientific collection and chilling chain, ultra-modern milk processing facilities, value addition of milk products, and effective marketing network. Government has also been encouraging women in the organized dairy sector. Also, technical training and financial aid will be provided to those interested in adopting dairy farming.

Punjab is an agrarian state and milk production is an integral part of the state, which is now emerging as an independent occupation. Punjab experiences very hot and dry winds in summers, cold chilly winds in winters and very hot and humid climate in monsoon season. The extremes of the climate affect adversely the health of lactating cattle and their milk yielding capacity. As dairy farming has the potential to become a profitable business, it is very essential to protect the cattle from the vagaries of weather. Therefore, Punjab has felt the need of cattle houses that can fulfill this need. Keeping in mind the local conditions prevalent in Punjab, an exclusive model for cattle house has been chalked out. Top experts from the Punjab State Farmers Commission, Punjab Dairy Development Board, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary Sciences University, (GADVASU), Ludhiana and the representatives of Progressive Dairy Farmers Association of Punjab were actively involved in the process. 

The model was then displayed in a Cattle Fair in GADVASU, Ludhiana, to educate dairy farmers. Number of prototypes of the model were actually constructed at different places for demonstration and benefit of farmers.

Two designs of the Cattle Houses were prepared. One for 20 lactating cows which has actual capacity of 40 cattle i.e., in addition to 20 lactating cows there is space for 10 pregnant cows and 10 heifers. Likewise, the other design is for half the capacity i.e., for 10 lactating cows along with 5 pregnant cows and 5 heifers. The design for bigger house has been evolved on the concept called “face to face”. In this case there are two linear mangers running parallel to each other and the cattle stand face to face on both the sides in two rows. A 2.15 metre wide brick paved path runs in between two mangers for easy movement and convenience in putting fodder in the mangers on both the sides.

Apart from this, the arrangement facilitates easy inspection of cattle from medical point of view. Cattle enclosures have been bifurcated in four parts, each earmarked for different category i.e., high-yield lactating cows, low-yield lactating cows, pregnant cows, and heifers. 

Cows can move freely in their respective enclosures, sit either in covered or open area depending upon the climatic conditions. Water troughs with stop valve arrangement have been provided at appropriate locations so that cattle can drink water whenever they feel like. 

Automatic showers and high velocity fans will be installed above the feeding point. 

The design of the shed has been evolved keeping in mind the factors like climate control, economy, and easy execution to facilitate self-help construction.

Since the high-yield cows have their origin in cold European countries, it becomes the prime concern to protect them from scorching heat of long summers in this region. Adequate cross ventilation is maintained throughout the sheds. 

The model has the potential of expansion in a linear way depending upon the requirements of the farmers. These cattle houses have been successfully implemented at number of places and it is expected /intended that progressive dairy farmers shall follow this model on their own. With more and more farmers adopting such scientific techniques in dairy farming, it is sure that Punjab will be heading for another “White Revolution”.

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