Punjab farmers take to dairy farming for second 'White Revolution'

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Amritsar, Dec 21(ANI): Punjab is ushering a second 'white revolution' by adopting modern dairy technology, which is seen as a viable and profitable alternative.

Gurmukh Singh, a daily farm owner who has four acres of farmland, shifted to dairy farming, as earnings from routine farming were not adequate.

Singh's Dairy Farm in Patti village of Punjab's Tarn Taran district, is a farm spread over two acres, which he established in 2007 after completing a 45-day 'Dairy Technology Course' from the Rural Dairy Training Institute.

Today, he produces 600 litres of milk everyday and is doing well.

"I am planning to expand my business. I started with six to seven cows, but now I have 50 cows on my farm. It's a good profession. I would advise the youth to take up dairy business instead of migrating abroad," Singh said.

With the aim of providing the latest information about commercial dairy farming, the Punjab Government has also started a new dairy technology course at five of its old centers and three new centers in Muktsar, Moga and Amritsar.

The State Dairy Development Department also provides new techniques, better sheds, cattle breed and artificial insemination to the milk producers to increase milk production in the state.

Financial help at very low rate of interest is provided to candidates who successfully undertake training.

"Dairy farming is allied to agriculture and a farmer can easily take to it. A number of new universities and professional colleges have started and now the village youth are going for these professional courses. They also want to start something on their own and dairy farming is suitable for them," said Dr. Pravesh Kumar Shahi, a veterinary officer.

Agriculture as a profession is not a profitable venture these days due to high rate of inputs and costs of production, but dairying has evolved as an alternative profitable business for the unemployed, new entrepreneurs and progressive farmers.

"Earlier, farmers didn't had much knowledge about the diseases of animals, medicines and injections, what kind of breeding to follow. But, here during training we are taught about different breeds so that foreign breeds can be produced here. We are also trained to tackle diseases in animals, how to store milk, how to sell it and provided information about new products," said Rajinder Singh, a student.

Tejpal Singh, another student, said: "The new generation will be left with nothing if we continue producing conventional crops. We produce paddy every year and the level of water is going down, so it is necessary for us to quit production of conventional crops and adopt dairy farming."

Punjab is the second largest milk producing state in India, producing eight million tones annually, which is around 10 per cent of the country's milk production.

The state has potential to top the list as many young farmers are now interested in modern dairy farming.

Agricultural universities and dairy institutes are helping train more entrepreneurs, who can help usher in a new revolution. By Ravinder Singh(ANI)

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