Improving milk production and marketing in rural Sindh, Pakistan
Effective marketing system
The SAGP has contributed to the regrouping of farmers. The project has contributed to structuring the milk supply chain, which can have a direct impact on the quality and price of milk. The milk collection system has also become more reliable through the installation of milk coolers, and the project has helped improve market access for small and medium producers, helping them to sell their milk to better price and to minimize the additional costs of an intermediary. man.
Highlighting the difficulties of rural people, Dr Ashok Kumar, the Senior Veterinarian, said: “People in this village had cattle and produced milk, but they never marketed their produce well. So, unsurprisingly, there were no sales.”
Now farmers can sell their milk directly and save time. “Before, we had to go all the way to town to sell milk, which was very expensive for us. The profit was also unfavorable. Now we sell milk in the Milk Producers Group (MPG) centers very close to our villages at good rates that help us save money,” says a beneficiary.
Spread the benefits of better livestock management
The project has also improved livestock management among its beneficiary farmers. By implementing three sensitization trainings for male and female farmers for each MPG centre, the project raised awareness of agricultural best practices, cleanliness of animal pens, on-farm diagnostic testing and management of sick animals. A total of 3,075 farmers from 20 MGPs benefited from the trainings covering animal feed and fodder, animal health management and animal breeding, breeding and genetic improvement, including the benefits of artificial insemination and expanded access to ultrasound scanners to improve livestock reproduction.
SAGP established 484 livestock management training departments for its beneficiaries, which included both farmers and members of government institutions in charge of training, and the project rehabilitated 121 veterinary units.
To date, approximately 5,753 farmers have benefited from training in livestock management. The 203 staff members of the Livestock Department equipped to deliver the trainings will continue to provide extension services during field visits for vaccination and treatment in the villages. In addition, more than 100 breeders and staff from the Livestock Department have been trained in the implementation of artificial insemination to contribute to the breed improvement program, and ultrasound training has been offered to 76 beneficiaries. 18 beneficiary beneficiaries had the opportunity to visit state-of-the-art livestock training centers abroad: in Zimbabwe to observe the design and implementation of holistic land and livestock management; in Turkey to learn dairy farming practices, dairy machinery preparation factories; camel herding in the UAE; and Kenya’s well-established dairy value chain.
SAGP has helped rescue the unique traits of the two main cow breeds found in Tharparkar district. One is “Thari” and the other is “Concrej”. On this, Dr. Ashok Kumar said: “Tharkparkar cattle lose their original traits by interbreeding with other breeds. Now we have promoted them through artificial insemination.”
An artificial insemination training center in Tandojam is making a difference in restoring the original traits of native Sindh breeds. Dr Abdullah Sethar, Deputy Director, said: “This artificial insemination center was developed in August 2019. We started to offer artificial insemination training here. We have already trained 762 families, veterinarians, paramedics and breeders in this center. »
The trainings have also contributed to improving milk production. Previously, cows produced about 4.1 liters of milk and buffaloes produced 5.2 liters. By following best practices learned in various trainings, farmers have increased milk production to 5.1 and 6.9 litres, respectively.
Beneficiary Abdul Aleem Soomro explained how the adoption of new techniques resulted in high milk production. He said, “Our local cows had a low milk yield. A practical demonstration was given to us and we changed our ways of raising cattle. This has already started to produce noticeable results.”
Create more jobs
The project has not only strengthened dairy production and its supply chain in rural Sindh, but has also benefited people in other ways, creating jobs in other sectors.
5753 members of the MPG were able to perfect their skills thanks to three training courses. In addition, 40 milk outlets have been established by MPG members, with each outlet staffed by three farmers from the local village of the centre. Each milk outlet has provided employment opportunities to the local village, as 149 milk technicians are employed to collect and ship milk to these MPG collection centers.