We may debate on the issue but ultimate realization would be in favor of the above title. Dairy Business includes various domains and educational set-up in our country does not stress on low cost available management tools. The technical or subject matter experts with high technical knowledge, having several accreditation in their hands can hardly extend help to a new & budding entrepreneurs or farmers or small dairy business houses under distress. The certificate courses in educational institutions have limitations to cover all applied areas for Dairy Business. Says Dr Chandrakiran Sant (a Dairy Business Consultant) that, he being a veterinarian was taught how to treat the animal and not as how to manage the animal.
We generally take it for granted that farmer has all the art, knowledge and skills of managing the animals. What he does not know is the diseases vs treatment or disease control measures. We believe that he has full knowledge of feeding, breeding and even managing the sub-clinical stage of a disease in animals. This is actually not true. Farmer feeds its animals whatever he has in his hand, the visiting inseminator breeds the cows with whatever semen dose he has in his canister. You can ask a practicing veterinarian, who will tell that almost 70-80% times the sick symptom told to them by a farmer is “that animal is not taking food, its milk laid down has reduced, it is not getting up, etc.” Farmer can’t understand the actual cause or real symptoms of a disease, definitely not the sub-clinical state of disease. It is the job of veterinarian to diagnose the cause, disease, and prescribe the treatment. This treatment now a days is mostly based on the use of chemicals & antibiotics, etc. Gone are the days when supportive medicines were being used for faster recovery of sick animals to the original physiological stage. Many a times the deficiency & metabolic disorders are treated with antibiotics, etc. Very few veterinarians (generally the one having old school of thought) prescribe supportive treatment to animals. With a result in most of the cases the animal does not returns to the original state of health. In this process the milk yield is compromised.
The animal management part is generally missed, either by the veterinarian or by the farmers as the farmer also believe in use of injectable for quick recovery. We all know that viral diseases could be cured/ controlled very fast through proper management of disease and animal at its early stage. Who talks about "farm parameters" like "Inter-caving period, age at 1st calving, age at puberty, maintaining breed to breed crosses, so on & so forth"? In procurement module of Dairy Business, it is essential to take all "partner-points" into account to assign costs (cost centers).
The institutions are churning out various research papers every year in hundreds and thousands, but hardly any of its finding/recommendation reaches the door of farmer for implementation. If the basics are desired to be published, it would be rejected by the publisher, considering that these are already known to farmer & public. Very rarely these institutions develop "farmer-friendly tools" for breeding, feeding, animal management, etc., which matter to manage Dairy Business. The desperate farmers, budding entrepreneurs and small dairy houses run for the data available at net. The data on net are not always customized for Indian Dairy Business situation. They understand the data half and correlate wrongly with their animal & dairy business situations and end up into confusion. A few entrepreneurs, we have come across, who invested huge amount of funds in dairy business without any planning and end up incurring losses, just to label the Dairy Business as “LOSS MAKING BUSINESS”, which is just not true.
Dairy Business is certainly a profitable business. Like any other business, this business also needs thorough planning, sequencing of events, include less costly & "farmer-friendly tools" for animal management, feeding, breeding and disease control. Further, this business also needs a thorough sensing of market (milk or milk product’s prices, glut period, current trends, competitors, future forecasts, etc.). Any activity in Dairy Business need to be looked with the eyes of economics.
If you look for a Dairy Business consultant, who could correlate various critical domains of this business including finance, you will have very few such consultants in India.
The writer of the article: Dr PK Shrivastava, MVSc, PGDHRM, PGDMM, generally known as "Dairy Business Guru" is having over 36 years of professional experience in planning & managing Dairy Business in India. He is retired from National Dairy Development Board and currently a freelance Dairy Business Consultant in India.