Challenge of Livestock based Livelihoods
Marginal and small farmers own two-thirds of cattle and buffaloes in India (NSS Report 493, 2002-03). Thus about 40 million rural poor families rear large milch animals to generate supplementary income or nutrition. Landless and land scarce families own most of the small animals, poultry, and pigs. Most of these families live in dry land geographies.
Livelihoods promotion in the livestock sector faces a unique challenge of poor breed with low productivity, traditional rearing skills, absence of veterinary services, scattered population and distant markets.
State government run dairy programs are restricted to a few districts, often well endowed with natural resources, and benefit mostly medium and large male farmers. Given their commercial objectives, they have primarily adopted a model, “Where there is milk, let us market.” In MP, the milk production volume hasn’t witnessed any growth.
Since 2006, SRIJAN has promoted a dairy program in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan, benefiting 1800 poor women. Six hundred poor women in Jaisinagar, the poorest block of Sagar district have become members of our dairy program. SRIJAN has reached 1200 poor women in 60 villages of Deoli block in Tonk district in Rajasthan.
Total cumulative sale of milk in approximately three and a half years of operations, as on February 2010, was three crore of rupees (US$650,000). Out of this 86 per cent was transferred to the milk pourers, much higher the industrial standard. Price per litre realized from the market has been steadily increasing, currently Rs. 17 in Tonk, and Rs. 19 in Sagar (starting at Rs. 8 in 2006).
In both these locations we have been able to build the base for women- led community institution. In Madhya Pradesh, Sagar Shree Mahila Producer Company Ltd has been registered under the Companies (Amendment) Act, 2002 and in Rajasthan, SHG federation, Maitree, is registered under Societies’ Act.
With initial success in dairy in two locations, SRIJAN is planning to expand its work to new clusters within the existing districts and neighboring districts.
A new dairy cluster is being planned in Tonk; and in Vidisha, MP, we are planning to take up Micro-Finance led dairy business.
Partners and Support
Individual assets have been built with the help of World Bank Funded, District Poverty Initiative Project (DPIP). American India Foundation (AIF) and Sir Ratan Tata Trust (SRTT) are key supporters of our dairy program.
Enhancing animal productivity in semi-arid and resource poor areas continues to be a challenge. Dealing with the intricacies of market needs creative solutions when it comes to linking the poor with little surplus milk.
Presently SRIJAN is Supporting -