Dairy farming is getting more popular among farmers in Wayanad district, a study says.
It reveals that milk production has increased by 25 percent in the district in the past three years and nearly 30 percent of marginal farmers in rural areas have selected dairying as their major occupation.
The study was organised by the final year B.Tech students of the College of Dairy Science and Technology (CDST) under the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) in various parts of the district as a part of the Venma-2015, a seven-day field extension training programme.
More number of young entrepreneurs are venturing into the sector in the wake of the sharp decline in price of cash crops, especially rubber, arecanut and tea, the study says.
Recent reports suggested that the situation is quite similar in the rubber and tea growing areas of the State, T.P. Sethumadhavan, Director of Entrepreneurship, KVASU said.
The survey found that increasing availability of land as well as the use of unconventional feeds like beer waste and oil cakes has helped in reducing the cost of production. Even with the current milk price, farmers are getting better income from dairying.
Increasing cost of production, increasing treatment cost and decreasing productivity are the major issues raised by farmers during the survey. Though many farmers were relying on traditional practices to control diseases, it could not produce any positive results.
Incidence of mastitis, a potentially fatal mammary gland infection, is high among dairy cattle due to unscientific cattlesheds including improper flooring.
Scientific housing, feeding, dairy management and disease control measures can reduce the cost of production and can make dairying more profitable in the State, the survey added.
As many as 30 students participated in the week-long survey. They took classes for the dairy farmers on ‘Quality Milk Production’ as part of the quality awareness programme in various parts of the district. G. Girish Varma, Dean, and S.R. Shyam Suraj , Assistant Professor (Dairy Extension), CDST, coordinated the programme.