At a time when Kerala is trying to meet self sufficiency in milk production, scientific interventions are required at micro levels to improve production and productivity from Dairy Cattle; Says Dr.T.P.Sethumadhavan, Director of Entrepreneurship of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University. He made this remark while delivering the keynote address in Dairy Seminar on Productivity enhancement held at Kottuvally Grama Panchayat Hall, N.Paravur on 14th March 2016. Directorate of Entrepreneurship of Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University organised this programme with the support of kudumbasree mission. Since the State has more than 95 percent crossbred cattle, scientific interventions are required at different domains of dairying like breeding, feeding, management, disease control, value addition and marketing to make the system sustainable. Mastitis is one of the diseases which affect production drastically. Poor hygiene and housing management facilitates mastitis. Early diagnosis and treatment will fetch good results. Animals need to be given concentrates and fodder as per package of practices recommendations. Clean milk production will facilitate food safety standards and try to reduce microbial count in the milk. Customised management measures based on season, stage of lactation and climatic variation are required. Animals need to be given adlibitum clean drinking water during summer. Moreover in order to reduce summer stress animals can be given energy and protein rich concentrates during early and late hours of the day. Reducing the age at calving and inter calving period will make dairying profitable.
Cow comfort and animal welfare issues are the two areas which need more focus. Animals need to be provided with sufficient space in the cattle shed. Sufficient ventilation and free from pain/injuries will augment production. While thinking of productivity enhancement, we need to think at the micro level since more than 90 percent of dairying is at subsistence level in the state. Those who are rearing one or two cows require appropriate adaptable technologies which can improve milk production by 20-25 percent per day. On an average Kerala has 5 lakh cross bred milch cattle and an increase of productivity of one litre per day will fetch an additional increase of 5 lakh litres of milk to the State milk pool.Customised value addition and marketing will facilitate to get additional returns to the farmer. At a time organic farming is acquiring momentum across the State, value addition of cattle manure will facilitate substantial income to the producer. 120 dairy women farmers attended the seminar.