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Calculus is a branch of mathematics that involves the study of rates of change. It has two branches. They are names as differential and integral calculus. Life is another name for change. The process of solving problems is nothing but changing the status quo. Let us look at the ways in which dairy problems are being handled in India.

The differential approach consider a broad perspective and then split it into diverse micro components. Suppose we wish to solve the problem of milk productivity in the country. Then we will split it into various micro factors like feed, breed, environment, nutrition, etc.

The Integral approach consider multiple components within certain limits and tries to integrate them together to solve a bigger problem. Suppose in India we have problems like small land holding, poor farmers income, poor genetics of the animal, low skill level of animal husbandry and poor animal health. Then we integrate them together on certain limits like 1-4 animal holding.

Problem solving approach in India

In India we attempt both the approaches. Large institutions like Ministry of dairying most of the times take a differential approach and tries to work on a bigger problem like doubling the farmers income and attempts in identifying micro components impacting the income of the farmers.

Dairy cooperatives and federations takes the integral approach .They try to integrate the micro components like localised breeds, fodder situation, farmer’s skill levels, market linkages, etc and then integrate them together by defining the suitable limits within that specific area.

It seems that in India we are having multiple agencies looking at the problems from different perspectives. The alignment of government schemes with the local interventions is missing somewhere. Some states are focussing on desi cows and commercial utilisation of their dung and urine. While others are focussing on bio gas installation.

Critical Issues requiring immediate attention

There is no visibility of policies to tackle the following issues:

  1. Unsafe milk due to contaminants
  2. Authenticity of milk against analogues and plant based products
  3. Market linkage of small farmer’s milk and milk products
  4. Cattle insurance for all and micro finance facilities like Kisan Credit cards
  5. Ageing cattle and male cattle population
  6. Distribution and availability of LN2
  7. Distribution and availability of sexed semen
  8. Communication strategy to inform consumers about benefits of milk
  9. Nationwide strategy to promote milk in First 1000 days of life
  10. Promoting milk as a national food so that tarnishing its image may become illegal and punishable offence.

NDDB is doing a brilliant job. However the need more funds to do the grass root level interventions at a much faster pace than ever. The nation is lacking sharing of information and best practices to a large extent . There must be an integrated effort to link farmers to some relevant social media vehicle and then to share all the tips to them in their local languages.

Financial inclusion

Inclusion of less than 0.1 million farmers with Kisan credit cards may not be sufficient in a country having almost 100 million dairy farmers. I think that all the state bodies may identify top three challenges in dairy development. The states must prioritise these three challenges over a five year period and share it with the central ministry.

The ministry then use these prioritised issues to integrate together using the budgetary limits f finance and geographical limits of the country to direct all ongoing schemes with timelines.

It’s time for the state and central machineries to work in tandem for the benefit of the dairy sector. The situation of small and marginal farmers is not satisfactory . We must not feel complacent with the rate of growth in milk production or our global position as a milk producer. The reality is that our farmers are still poor.

Dairy has yet to become attractive to our farmers as well as youth. We all must listen up carefully that real milk comes from cows only. Nothing else could replace it even partially.

Source : Dairy blog by Kuldeep Sharma Chief editor