Commercial dairy farming spreads in ArghakhanchiArghakhanchi has been moving towards achieving self-sufficiency in milk production as commercial dairy farm is gaining popularity due to the quick and high returns it provides.
Arghakhanchi has been moving towards achieving self-sufficiency in milk production as commercial dairy farm is gaining popularity due to the quick and high returns it provides. An increasing number of farmers, particularly youths, have started rearing improved varieties of cows and buffalos, leading to a jump in milk output in the district.
Arghakhanchi produces milk worth Rs68.4 million annually. There has been a rise in the number of farmers selling milk at the local market.
“The district has been recording milk production of 3,800 litres each day,” said Ram Narayan Mandal, senior Livestock Development Officer. Of the total milk produced, 2,500 litres alone is consumed at Chutrabesi market in Sandhikharka.
Surplus milk is shipped to Gulmi and Palpa. Farmers receive Rs50 per litre from private dairies while retail consumers pay Rs60 per litre at the market.
The District Livestock Office said it planned to encourage farmers to raise more cows and buffalos so that the district would be able to supply more dairy products to other parts of the country.
“An improved variety of cow yields 12-15 litres of milk daily,” said Janaki Banjade of Kimdanda. “We earn Rs20,000 per month from one cow.” Banjade owns 10 cows and sells 50 litres of milk daily.
Farmers in the district became attracted towards commercial dairy farming six years ago when an organization named Lumbini Social Development Centre began distributing improved varieties of cows and buffalos to farmers.
Since then, the district has seen a dramatic change. More and more farmers have now started rearing improved varieties of cows and buffaloes that has boosted milk production in the district.
Nearly 150 households in Kimdanda are engaged in commercial milk production with each rearing one to 10 cows. Local farmers said that the trend of migrating abroad for jobs had also been declining in the district of late. “Families who had been finding it difficulty to eke out a living are now earning a decent income,” said Tamlal Pandey, a farmer of Bhagwati. “Some families used to borrow money to buy rice before, but now they are in a position to provide loans.”
Ganesh Banjade, president of the Laxmi Cow Rearing Group, said farmers had been encouraged to take up dairy farming as technicians from the District Livestock Office had been providing them technical support.
“Medical treatment for animals has also become easy now.” He added that dairy farming had changed the lifestyle of local farmers completely. Young people who have returned from abroad are also eager to go into dairy farming.
Shankar Ghimire, a migrant worker who had recently returned to the village, has started commercial cow rearing.
“A lot of youths, particularly migrant workers, who have returned to their villages, have been inquiring about commercial dairy farming these days,” said Mandal.