Rachna, Gautam and Anika Malik
Dairying in mixed farming situations involves millions of resource-poor farmers, for whom animal ownership<br />ensures critical livelihood, sustainable farming, and economic stability. Attempts to help these farming systems<br />have met with partial success in the past although their importance is well understood. We look at the problem from<br />the farmers Ã¢â‚¬â„¢ perspective. Adopting the approach hired from theory of constraints an attempt is made to understand<br />the most important bottlenecks in production enhancement in these production systems. The study was conducted<br />on 60 randomly selected farmers practicing dairying in mixed farming situation. A list of likely constraints affecting<br />mixed dairy farming systems was drawn and farmerÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s opinion was sought on these. The constraints perceived by the<br />respondents were divided into six main areas viz. general, feeding, economic, management, health care and breeding.<br />Management and feeding constraints were perceived as most serious. Decreasing operational land holding was<br />seen as a major threat to these integrated systems. This, we argue, will result in delinking of rural dairying from<br />crop husbandry. Similarly, increasing costs of animal feeds and fodders are posing significant threats. These<br />together with poor animal health management factors are posing risks that in turn will likely compel farmers to<br />refrain from adopting high yielding cross-bred animals. Lack of clean drinking water and ponds for animals was<br />also perceived as important constraint. Poor reproductive efficiency of buffaloes was considered a key problem.<br />Age, extension contact and mass media exposure were significantly and positively associated with constraint<br />perception. Education was negatively and significantly related to the constraint perception. Steps like development<br />of favourable market linkages, streamlining of research and development systems, broad basing livestock extension<br />support and reforming inputs markets are suggested.
Keyword: Mixed dairy farming system; Dairy farmers; Constraints; Buffaloes