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Dairy enterprises: Training need of the hour

Dairy enterprises: Training need of the hour
Highlights

Given the widespread job insecurity and increasing complexity of the job markets as well as the 'skills gap' that bedevils the industry these days, an...

Given the widespread job insecurity and increasing complexity of the job markets as well as the 'skills gap' that bedevils the industry these days, an increasing number of students, especially those with moorings in rural areas, are looking at self-employment options that are recession-proof and in line with the agrarian economy.

Self-employment schemes are appealing to students who are aware of the increasing trials and tribulations of so-called bright engineering graduates in diverse workplaces due to lack of soft skills, curriculum that is not linked to industry requirements and other related factors. Many graduates employed in information technology companies are not all that happy because the salary that they are offered is hardly sufficient in city life.

These days many youths in villages and semi-urban areas are unable to earn regular and sustainable income with their mental equipment. Then there are people who choose to go abroad, mainly to places like Dubai, Singapore and Australia, but are forced to return to India for some reason or the other.

For the foregoing categories of youngsters, getting involved in some worthwhile 'project' of their own seems to be the most logical and life-changing decision. These youths are inclined to take up projects at the village level. So, quite naturally many of them are opting for dairy farming. They are consulting experts in the field and are keen on starting a mini dairy or a even a major dairy unit, depending on their wherewithal.

To start a dairy unit, all they need is land with dependable a water source and solid investment. Nowadays the investment is quite high, as one cow or buffalo yielding 20 liters and 10 liters milk per day respectively, costs around Rs 70,000=00. Those who can afford to invest this sum are starting dairy enterprises. Some even obtain loans from nationalized banks. Alas! Youths who lack basic skills and training sustain losses.

It has been observed that only those who lack managerial techniques in dairy farm sustain losses. Hence, those planning to set up dairy units should make it a point to undergo minimum training and learn the basics of dairy farming. There are organizations that offer training material in the form of literature, CDs, but they are of little use to those who need hands-on training and the right kind of mental equipment to run the dairy.

The state government is also trying to help the farming community by giving animals on subsidy under schemes like Pasu kranthi. If only one assesses how much money is spent on these schemes, it would be illuminating to know the extent of loss suffered by the so-called beneficiaries. Many of them have been forced to sell their animals and are bank loan defaulters only because they lacked skills that are required to run dairy units.

It is therefore essential that enterprising youths should undergo training (classroom and practical) in dairy farming. Towards this end, the Animal Husbandry Department, Veterinary University and the NABARD should meet and discuss the modalities of introducing a certificate course in dairy farming. The duration of the course, syllabus and related matters can be worked out by experts in the field. Banks and Animal Husbandry Department should insist on such certificates for those seeking loans and subsidy from the government.

Considering the fact that agriculture and allied activities have been the backbone of Indian economy for ages, any properly structured training programme for dairy enterprises should be welcome for giving a push to this line of self employment.

There are organizations that offer training material in the form of literature, CDs etc., but they are of little use to those who need hands-on training and the right kind of mental equipment to run the dairy
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