Saturday, September 19, 2009

Cow's milk for Delhi

Concept note for optimization and sustainable operation for Street Cows and Small Dairy facilities in NCR, with inputs of, veterinary management, environment friendly vocational training, knowledge, education, skill development, and entrepreneurship enhancement.


1.To rehabilitate the Stray Cows being rescued from road sides by
making best use of the cattle wealth of Delhi, and providing
organizational support to unorganized dairy sector in NCR.

The total cattle population in NCR, which can be mobilized to
become an integral part of this scheme is estimated to be more than
100,000, which has a potential of providing on daily basis more than
4 lac liters of clean fresh, healthy and premium Milk produced in

2. To make available premium quality milk to discerning citizens of
Delhi and bring about simultaneously social prosperity among small
farmers of NCR by using animal husbandry, as a change agent.

3.Support the promotion of milk distribution for school going young
children by introducing pure milk in the school meal system,
making a start with (Govt. girl schools.) –Funding for milk for school
children is possible under UN sponsored FAO schemes.

4.Promotion and Making available for public unadulterated, natural/raw
cow’s milk, as a premium value added product and Cow dung and
Urine based products for organic farming inputs.

5.Initiate and establish a sustainable Environment friendly, Locally
produced Organic Food chain system as a model, with rural house
hold cow as the starting point.

6.Environmental Education for school children, Animal Husbandry
and Horticulture based self employment by distance learning
schemes for the youth.

7. To show case a system which makes best use of very limited land
available in NCR by promotion of Dairy and Horticultural needs of
an Urban Community by making available locally produced fresh
milk and green vegetables.( which can be premium products for a
discerning Organic seeking clientele.)

8. Mobilization on Voluntary basis, Youth, Senior citizens, retired
persons in community developmental activities.

2. Strength:-

1. There exists deep cultural and emotional bond for Cows, among majority of Indians in general.
2. Pure Cow’s Milk has an unbelievable USP in Indian perception.
3. Govt. is already actively supporting the schemes to rehabilitate and
take care of ‘Cows on the Street’ Delhi Govt authorities have been
very generous in making available land for the NGO’s to take
charge of ‘Stray cows’, and provide help by way of nutrition, feeds,
medicine supplies and medical facilities.
3. Govt. is already actively pursuing schemes to establish Dairy
clusters for the unorganized Dairy sector in the NCR
4. There is already very good NGO support in place and more is
possible for these activities.
5. Many rural areas in NCR are already partly depending on Dairy
farming to supplement their livelihood.
6. Youth, Senior Citizens and Retired persons, can be provided with an opportunity to register themselves, for donating of some of their spare time, for community services, on purely voluntary basis, which is a standard practice, in most of the developed world. Canadian practice can be given a consideration, as an example.


1. Limitation of Physical Space.
2. Paucity of Public Funding.
3. Lack of knowledge, education, Skills in best Animal Husbandry and Modern Horticultural practices, sustainable environmental strategies which are possible to be followed, not only in rural areas but also in urban areas.
4. Low availability of good Cattle feed in general in India, more so in Delhi, particularly green fodder.
5. Poor sanitation and drinking water availability.
6. Inadequacy of existing infrastructure.
7. Difficult Electricity situation.

4. Action Plan
(to address the Opportunities and the weaknesses mentioned above.)

1. Stray Cows:
Rehabilitation of the stray Cows being rescued from road sides
The stray Cows on the road side are conceived as an urban
menace and liability but can be turned in to an asset by appropriate
Veterinary interventions.

2. Unorganized Dairies:
Delhi Govt. have already taken the initiative of organizing dairy
clusters like the one existing in Ghazipur , Bawana etc.and the future
ones like the now proposed at Ghogha, to provide optimum Dairy
Cluster community service.
The problems being faced by both of these, NGOs in Gosadans and the Small Dairy operators, are common and basic.
Possible remedial efforts are suggested below.

A-Registration –Record Keeping:
A standard System of uniform visible marking of all the cows in the
custody of Gosadans and small dairy operators should be notified, and
made mandatory .(This is a standard practice in all major dairy areas
world over.)
The currently used implanting of Microchip method is of use
only to MCD in tracability of all the stray cattle. Apart from being
very expensive this method of marking does not serve any purpose
for the Gosadans or Dairy persons for record keeping about the health,
productivity and genetic improvements which are being brought about
by good cow management. For the improvement of any herd proper
record keeping is the most important starting point, and has been
uniformly neglected in India. Cryogenic Branding
For good cow management Cryogenic Branding is the most inexpensive
and easy method of Branding the cows, and training to implement this
system should be provided .

RECORD KEEPING- Good Record keeping practice should be taught to all Gosadans and Small Dairy persons.

All sick cows in Gosadans, for being given proper medical treatment, should be segregated from productive and potentially productive cows.
Ruminotomy (Surgical removal of plastics and foreign metallic objects from cow’s stomach) Facilities and practice should be introduced to save the Cows which have ingested plastic, and metallic objects from roadside,
from perishing


There is very little familiarity among the Dairy owners and Gosadans about the most cost effective housing construction designs to be followed for the housing of Cattle in the climate of NCR.
Based on the existing Indian Standards, after incorporating some alternatives based on field experience in Delhi, guide lines can be made available giving details of basic designs for housing suitable for housing of a few cattle by individual rural household, to the larger Gosadans. This help can be provided by MDGK( Maharishi Dayanand Gosamwardhan Kendra) Ghazipur, Delhi-96, with guidance from Animal Husbandry Deptt.


To maintain good milk productivity, and health of cows, guidance on planning, clean environments, adequate provision of water required for drinking, washing of cows, proper breeding, breed improvement by natural breeding and maintenance of Dairy facilities is very important in Gosadans and the Dairy Cluster. These aspects need effective intervention, and guidance and trained manpower.

Rain Water Harvesting, Water Recycling, and Biogas schemes on small individual and community levels, and larger Gosadan levels need to be put in place. Large plants can supplement methane gas availability for the community in a very sustainable manner. In fact by way of Carbon Credits such schemes can made cost effective also.
While the Animal Husbandry experts could provide estimates for per capita requirements of water for drinking , washing and cleaning in the Dairies, organizations like Dabur Ayurvet and MDGK could involve themselves in sustainable strategies of Dung Disposal at site by best possible Biogas plant and vermicompost systems, with active advice of Animal Husbandry Experts, MNES, ICAR.

D.Feed for Cattle

The best practice for cattle feed is acknowledged to be green pasture feeding. In the absence of pastures total stall feeding is being resorted to. Total stall feeding is now realized to be not only a cost intensive , but the quality of the milk also suffers due to shortage of greens in the cattle feed.
The ‘self formulated’ tradition feed given by most people, suffers from adulterated and unbalanced cattle feed inputs. This harms the health and milk productivity and economics of Dairy Milk.
Best alternative for Urbanized areas like NCR is TMR (Total Mixed
Ration). Some TMR is already available, but quality norms and
manufacturers of good reputations have to establish before TMR
becomes common.
Movement and storage of ‘Bhoosa’ not only requires very large space but poses big traffic hazard on roads. ‘Bhoosa’ in compressed bales is not available in India yet. This aspect needs a little more attention.
In the present scenario, Cattle feed from good reputed manufacturers conforming to national quality norms supplemented by “Hydroponics Green Fodder” and Azolla, both of which do not require electricity help, suggest themselves as the most cost effective modern interventions. Experience of MDGK and Dabur Ayurvet, on these lines can be shared with all NCR cattle operations.

E.Packaging of Milk

About 5 years ago based on FAO reports on Village Milk Systems
we at MDGK had started making one liter raw milk pouches. This system has been found very cost effective and satisfactory. We would like to recommend this system for adoption by most milk producers in the NCR. The Raw Milk produced by healthy clean cows under very clean hygienic conditions, can stay unspoilt for up to 4 hours after milking and normally for distribution in nearby areas up to 10 Km distance, we find this a very good arrangement.
The consumer is assured of good clean healthy ‘ live’ milk, without any modern intervention of Pasteurizations, Homogenization etc.
A number of sister Goshalas have shown interest in this form of packaging and we have been sharing our experience with all without any hesitation.

Transport and distribution of open milk in cans should be discouraged and ultimately phased out.

5.Training of Manpower

Availability of trained manpower in good milch cattle keeping has been
a bottleneck. This subject has been under informal discussions with
IGNOU. Under the distance learning vocational courses, a program
has been developed by IGNOU for training of literate youth in the art
of good cow keeping. which the youth , can join the Goshalas/
Gosadans to have hands on animal husbandry dairy farming
experience and enhance their learning to qualify for getting a diploma
after completing the course requirements, they are also qualified to
get loans from Banks to start a small Dairy enterprise of their own
with 4 to 5 cows. With improved knowledge base, many
rural youth find this to be a very desirable vocation.

During their stay at the Goshalas/Gosadans for the physical service
done the youth can be paid a stipend to see them through this
training period.
The availability of better skilled educated Dairy operators will be a
big gain in due course of time.

6.Milk Distribution

One liter packets can be supplied directly by the milk producers, to the
Consumers, within distances they can cover on Bicycles or
motorbikes. Unreliability of the milk supplied in open cans will be
finished. The milk producer will get better price and the consumer
better milk.

Even smaller packages of say about 250 to 300ml of sweetened milk
can be considered for free supply to school children in the rural
areas, making a start with Girl’s School, to ensure better girl
child nutrition and encourage girl child attendance in schools. Boys
schools can be asked to make 50% payment for school milk

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