With slaughter of bulls and bullocks being banned, a section of dairy farmers in Maharashtra have mooted the idea of giving milch animals ID tags on the lines of ‘Aadhar’ cards to track their history, breeding cycle and economics of milk production.
State Dairy Development Minister Eknath Khadse said while the government has not received any formal proposal from dairy farmers as yet, but it will look into the demand if the proposal will help them.
“We have not got any proposal from the dairy farmers as yet. If we get a proposal, we will study it and if we find that the farmers stand to benefit, we do not mind accepting it,” Khadse told.
The dairy farmers want the government to consider it seriously as this has been done in most countries that practice advanced dairy farming methods.
“The most important benefit of UID number tagging is that it will enable to track the overall production pattern of cows, which is very important from business and planning point of view,” Prabhat Dairy’s Managing Director Vivek Nirmal said.
“We help farmers in Maharashtra to buy cows through financial assistance schemes from financial institutions. The cows are insured and therefore UID for each cow is very important. The data of each cow is also stored on a ‘cloud’ (data storing software). The data can be used by the lending banks too to keep track of the cows.”
Nirmal said his unit has already started tagging over 3,000 cows in Shrirampur and Ahmednagar – one of the largest milk producing districts in India.
“Our ‘Cow Welfare Scheme’ has a provision of sharing information with Maharashtra Livestock Development Board (MLDB) through SMS. A large number of procurement partners at the village level collection centres co-ordinate in the milk procurement process with 70,000 milk farmers and registered milk vendors,” Nirmal said.
“Since all cows look more or less alike, identification is essential. It is easy to create 12 digit unique ID Number by which dairy units, farmers and funding institutions can track the history of cow, breeding cycles, production trend, economics of milk production,” he said.
Farmers can fill a form in their language giving the physical details of the animals like appearance and colour and also about themselves. The UID containing these could be tagged to one of ears of a cow, Nirmal said.
All the animals could be tagged in a manner that they can be traced using the GPS/GPRS system in the event of a disease outbreak.
Sarangdhar Nirmal, who has brought about a white revolution in Ahmednagar district, said the UID for cows is the best way for farmers to improve husbandry practices and analyse the economics and dynamics of dairy farming.
“This will help farmers to analyse data and see critical results by themselves and develop skills for better dairy farming and breeding practices. This will increase self-employment opportunities and reduce migration of farmers,” he added.