Abdul is a livestock rearer from Punhana block, Nuh, Haryana, who also works as labor in a neighboring village. He used to feed less-digestible forages, such as straw and crop residues to his cattle, which are also generally low in nutritive value. His milch animal delivered a baby in early July 2021 and became feeble. It produced 8 liters of milk daily.
Abdul’s paid labor became irregular in the wake of second wave of COVID-19 pandemic, and his income decreased all at once. Being landless, there was no opportunity of farming. Hence he became completely dependent on income from his livestock rearing. He knew that the local fodder used as cattle feed was insufficient for the animals, and he could not fulfill their nutritional requirements.
In July 2021, Abdul attended a meeting organized as a part of a CSR project implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation. There he learned about the importance of maintaining a balanced diet for milch animals, and he expressed interest in adopting the animal nutrition kits that were distributed to selected beneficiaries as demonstrations under the project. He received the kit of a mineral mixture fortified with vitamins and chromium, deworming tablets, as well as training on the importance of balanced animal nutrition, mixing of green and dry fodder with supplements, clean milking, among other information.
Toward the end of July 2021, Abdul started providing balanced animal nutrition feed to his milch animal, which had delivered a calf fifteen days previously. After a month of continuous use, he noticed an increase of 3 liters of milk per day from the animal. Also, this milch animal conceived again within sixty days of delivery.
Appreciating this initiative, Abdul mentions, “By selling the surplus quantity of milk at the rate of INR 40 per liter, I am able to earn approximately of INR 3,600 more per month. This income will help me repay a loan that I took several months ago for my daughter’s wedding.”
By Akshay Gilbert and Debika Goswami
(Akshay is project associate and Debika is senior program lead, Local participation and Sustainability with S M Sehgal Foundation)