Indian dairy farmers learn better feeding methods to improve milk production

Ninety six dairy farmers (96) among them 44 females have been trained on “Feeding strategies to improve dairy production in Samastipur District of Bihar”. The one-day training programme was organised by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and partners of Bihar, India.

The main purpose of the training held March 30, 2012 was to create awareness among milk producing communities about the importance of a balanced ration feeding to dairy cattle. The farmers were introduced to the nutritive quality of locally available feeds and fodders and the proper utilization to improve the production of dairy cattle.

Most of the dairy farmers of this region have been utilizing one or two home-made feed ingredients as concentrate to feed dairy cattle along with wheat bhusa/chaffed paddy straw and green fodder to some extent. Only farmers with a strong financial background are using commercial marketed concentrate mixture.

Dr. S. P. Sahu, Consultant of ILRI discussed the protein, energy, minerals, salt and vitamins requirements of dairy cows so as achieve an adequate amount for efficient milk production and better reproductive efficiency. He stressed that high quality forage complemented with balanced concentrate mixtures made of locally available feed ingredients helps improve the quality of milk.

Many dairy farmers who took part in previous feeding trials shared their experiences and benefits with the participants. A demonstration session following the training helped the dairy farmers to learn how to prepare the balanced concentrate mixture manually using locally available feed ingredients at cheapest cost without compromising the nutritive quality of concentrate mixtures.

The training was oganised under the Cereal System Initiative South Asia (CSISA) project which seeks to decrease hunger and malnutrition and to increase food and income security of resource-poor farm families in South Asia through the accelerated development and inclusive deployment of new varieties, sustainable management technologies, and policies.

The projects’ key objectives are the widespread delivery and adaptation of production and post-harvest technologies to increase cereal production and raise incomes; crop and resource management practices for sustainable future cereal-based systems and introduction of high-yielding, abiotic stress-tolerant, and disease- and insect-resistant rice and wheat varieties and hybrids for current and future cereal and mixed crop-livestock systems.

Other aims include introduction of high-yielding, heat-tolerant and disease-resistant maize inbred lines and hybrids for current and future cereal and mixed crop-livestock systems, technology targeting and improved policies for inclusive agricultural growth and the creation of a new generation of scientists and professional agronomists for cereal systems research and management.

Partners in the project are the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the United States Agency for International Development and the International Rice Research Institute.

Source: People Livestock and Environment at ILRI