Indisputably, agriculture remains the foundation for India's rural economy, but side by side, livestock rearing is also a vital contributor to family incomes. Almost all rural households own livestock; even landless families will own one or two cows or buffaloes. For the poorest among these families, livestock is often the only sustained source of income. However, in general milk yields are extremely low a result of poor livestock nutrition and genetic quality.
ITC's integrated animal husbandry programme provides an opportunity for farmers to diversify their livelihood portfolio. Interventions to develop dairy-based businesses shift the primary financial dependence on agriculture by enhancing the productivity of milch animals. The programme is closely aligned to the 'National Livestock Mission (NLM)', which aims at quantitative and qualitative improvement in livestock production systems and capacity building of all stakeholders.
44,000 dairy farmers from 501 villages in 8 districts of Bihar and 2 districts of West Bengal have already been supported through training programmes on clean milk production, mastitis control and animal husbandry services.
This video that tells the story of Asha Kishore, a livestock farmer from Uttar Pradesh, who ventured into dairy farming with one cow, and has become a confident woman independently managing her own thriving dairy business. Profits from the business are bringing new comforts to her home and helping pay for her children's education. Watch and share.