Chandrapur, November 25
On realising that traditional form of cattle farming does not generate good returns, farmers of Chandrapur in Rautahat district have now adopted commercial cattle farming practices and have been able to raise their income.
With more people getting involved in this occupation, the number of members in Jaya Chautari Milk Producers Cooperatives (JCMPC) has risen to 165. The cooperative was initially set up with just 27 farmers of Pramani Tole, Chandrapur Municipality-2, about five years ago. In just five years since its inception, cooperative now collects over 700 litres of milk every day, up from 250 litres a day in early days of its establishment.
According to Chairperson of JCMPC, Devi Bahadur Karki, more farmers are taking up cattle farming these days as the market management of the collected milk has been easier through the cooperative. “Now a farmer brings up to 40 litres of milk to the cooperative daily,” said Karki, adding that farmers have started keeping hybrid cattle and growing better grass as fodder for the cattle.
One such local farmer, Jayaram Rai, who has been involved with the cooperative, says that he is fully satisfied with this change.
“I was thinking of going abroad for employment but I heard about the prospect in milk production and ventured into it. Now I earn up to Rs 56,000 in a month,” said Rai, who invested the money he had borrowed for foreign employment in cattle farming. At present, he owns 12 cows and buffaloes and is planning to add five more by procuring a loan from a bank.
Another local farmer, Dil Prasad Acharya, sells around 40 litres of milk each day. “I had never expected to make so much money by just selling milk,” he said.
The cooperative hasn’t faced any problem in selling the milk it collects so far. It sells the milk to the Chandranigahapur-based cold store of Dairy Development Corporation. The cooperative also owns a 500-litre capacity chilling machine that was bought for Rs 195,000, with Rs 113,000 being provided by the District Livestock Office as donation.
“The amount was provided by the World Wildlife Fund under a sustainable land management project for the protection of Chure region,” said Dinanath Yadav, who is a veterinarian at the District Livestock Office Rautahat. “The project has helped farmers by improving the cowsheds and the seeds of the fodder for cattle.”
“The chilling machine has been very useful as we can keep the collected milk in it when we can’t take it to the market due to the floods in the local rivers during the monsoon,” said Karki.
A version of this article appears in print on November 26, 2016 of The Himalayan Times.