Dairy Programme

100_6917The Dairy Programme was one of Samaj Pragati Sahayog’s first livestock initiatives. Initiated in 80 villages of Nimar region of Dewas district, the dairy programme covers about 1200 families. Milk production was never done at a commercial level in the tribal villages of Bagli. While people in our area have large stocks of cattle, milk yields have been poor due to lack of health, water, fodder, affordable credit and a market. Frequent seasonal outmigration was a major reason which rendered dairying unviable. Over time, SPS’s Watershed and Agriculture programmes had ensured water and fodder to most parts of this region. As a result, keeping livestock for producing milk became possible.

With considerable effort, the area was included in Indore Milk Union’s (IDS) milk collection route. Women then organized themselves in community-based dairy co-operatives and began milk collection for marketing. In order to support our dairy programme, Indore Milk Union set up a Bulk Milk Cooling (BMC) Unit in Bhikupura with a storage capacity of 3000 litres. 32 village level milk cooperative societies have been established, of which 27 are led by women. At its peak, the programme is able to aggregate about 2600 litres of milk per day.

Challenges: IDS has been strict regarding the quality standards and has issued new set of quality standards in the last quarter of the year. The number of families introduced to sustainable dairying has been increasing slowly because IDS has started rejecting milk on account of poor quality. The programme is devoting considerable attention and efforts to run a full scale campaign on improving and stabilizing the quality of the milk that is collected by the dairies.  Also, extreme climatic conditions and lack of green fodder take a toll on the milk production. Over the years the efforts of the programme has been to ensure a certain amount of stability in collection.