Savitri from Taoru block, Nuh district, Haryana, has a five-member family, which she supports through her sole source of income from animal husbandry. She has two buffaloes from whom she earns about INR 9,000 to 10,000 per month. Though Savitri works hard at her occupation, she is still not able to take good care of her animals, and in turn improve her income. This is because of her lack of knowledge of modern animal husbandry practices.
A CSR project implemented by S M Sehgal Foundation that began in April 2021 focused on agriculture development and allied activities such as animal husbandry and water conservation. In a village meeting held on 31 August 2021, the project team announced that some selected farmers would be provided with animal nutrition kits to demonstrate the contribution of balanced diet in improving the efficacy of animal husbandry. The selection criteria included income level, women entrepreneurs, and priority was given to the landless.
Savitri was selected to be a recipient of this kit, and in September 2021 was trained by the project team on its benefit, manner of utilization, as well as on other good practices in animal husbandry such as maintaining the health and hygiene of animals and inclusion of fresh green grass in the diet and vaccination. This animal nutrition kit contains micronutrients that balance the requirements in the diet of the animal. This improves the health of the animal and also increases its milk supply.
Savitri began feeding the animal nutrition supplements from September 2021 to her buffalo who had given birth. She fed her buffalo 50 grams of the dietary supplement daily, either half in the morning and half in the evening, or once a day. Earlier her buffalo used to provide ten liters of milk a day, and within three months of having the supplement, it started producing an additional amount of three liters of milk, and the buffalo’s overall health improved. The health benefits included better metabolism, healthy disease-free udders and others. Savitri says, “It has been about three months now since we began noticing the changes due to the animal nutrition supplement. After our current supply of the nutrient supplement is over, we will purchase it from the market and feed both our buffaloes with it. Due to this, our income is likely to increase by about INR 4,500 per month in the initial months, amounting to an increase of about INR 18,000 annually, as a buffalo does not yield equally throughout the year.”
Authors: Arun Kumar and Saurav Sriwastava
(Arun is assistant program lead and Saurav is project associate, Nuh, with S M Sehgal Foundation)