Do you want to start a commercial dairy farming or cattle farming business? Find here a detailed dairy farming project plan guide for your ready reference.
Basically, commercial dairy farming is a wonderful opportunity for self-employment. Additionally, the business allows you to start the venture with small capital investment also. Even, you can start farming with two milking buffalo. In addition to that, you can operate small-scale farming part-time also.
Basically, the agricultural activity is seasonal. Additionally, it depends on the agroclimatic condition and many other external factors. Hence, you can expect a sustainable income throughout the year from your dairy project.
Things to Consider in Starting Dairy Farming Business
In starting the business, you must consider several aspects carefully.
- First, identify a location for your dairy project. And you have to select an area that is not under the municipal corporation. Because most of the urban municipality doesn’t allow dairy farming for environmental reasons.
- According to your investment capacity, you must have a project report. It is a must. Otherwise, you can’t control the several issues that may affect the profitability of the project.
- Apply for a business loan, if required.
- Additionally, you have to procure good quality dairy breed cows for your farm.
- Identify the nearby Veterinary Hospital, Artificial Insemination Center/livestock Aid Centers, MPCS. Before commencing the farm, have a talk with them.
- Identify the market. You must have a clear marketing plan for your dairy products.
- Finally, you must have basic skills in cattle farming. Definitely, you will operate the farm with some skilled manpower. However, having basic knowledge will make you confident about the entire operation.
Arrange Funds for Dairy Farming Business
According to your investment capacity, plan the financial resources. And there are several options for this. If you are an absolute beginner, then it is better to start the business with your own finance. However, you can avail a bank loan also. In India, you can avail NABARD subsidy for your farm.
NABARD is an apex institution for all matters relating to policy, planning, and operation in the field of agricultural credit. Basically, it serves as an apex refinancing agency for the institutions providing investment and production credit. It promotes development through formulation and appraisal of projects through a well-organized Technical Services Department at the Head Office and Technical Cells at each of the Regional Offices.
However, for applying for the subsidy, one must a business project report. You have to include information on land, livestock markets, availability of water, feeds, fodders, veterinary aid, breeding facilities, marketing aspects, training facilities, the experience of the farmer, and the type of assistance available from the State Government, dairy society/union/federation.
Dairy Farming Project Plan Guide for Beginners
After getting the land and finance ready, you can start the farm operation. First of all, you have to establish housing for buffaloes and other spaces. Generally, it is better to start a farm with the land for fodder farming. You can start a medium-size commercial farm with 2 acres of land. Generally, you have to provide a 40 Sq Ft space for an adult animal and 20 Sq Ft space for each calf.
Housing for Dairy Farming
Housing is a basic important aspect in the entire farming operation, And you have to arrange it properly. You must provide efficient, well-planned, and adequate housing for the cattle. Improper planning in the arrangement of animal housing may result in additional labor charges and that curtails the profit of the owner.
During the erection of a house for dairy cattle, you must take care to provide comfortable accommodation for individual cattle. Additionally, you have to take into consideration the proper sanitation, durability, arrangements for the production of clean milk under convenient and economic conditions, etc.
Selection of Breeds
Proper selection is the first and the most important step in dairying. Cross-breed animals with an exotic inheritance of about 50% are preferable. This preference is based on a comparison of the performance of the animals with different percentages of exotic inheritance. Fifty percent of the native germplasm is helpful to retain the adaptability, heat tolerance, and disease resistance traits of local animals, in crossbreeds.
Therefore, selecting the right breeds is very crucial in this business. Basically, select the breed on the basis of breed characters and milk-producing ability. You can also check the history sheet or pedigree sheet. Additionally, you must select an animal during the First or Second lactation and that too is a month after calving.
Feed and fodder production for livestock feeding is an important aspect of the sustainability of the system. You must grow fodder for the animals. However, fodder cultivation depends on several aspects. These are soil type, irrigation source, land topography, labor availability, and daily fodder requirement. Accordingly, you have to craft a fodder plant.
Dairy cows and buffaloes of average body weight of about 500 kg require between 12.5 to 15 kg of dry matter (DM) daily. However, you can prepare this DM through green fodders, concentrate mixture, and dry roughages.
Preferably two-thirds of the total requirement of dry matter should be met through seasonal cereal and leguminous green fodders and dry roughages. For better productivity, feed both cereal and leguminous fodders in a 50: 50 ratio.
Cow & Calves Management
You must take proper care of the cows and calves. Some of the major aspects include cleaning, feeding, vaccination, milking, etc. However, there are some activities that you have to perform daily basis. Here, we have compiled some of the basic routine operations.
- Cleaning/brushing of milch animals
- Feeding half of the daily concentrate ration just before milking.
- Milking cows.
- Delivery of raw milk (in cans) to the milk pick-up van of dairy plants and receiving the previous day’s empty cans.
- Washing and disinfection of milking barns.
- Cleaning of milk cow sheds.
- Feeding of dry/green fodder to milch stock.
- Cleaning farm premises.
- Isolation of sick animals.
- Isolation of “in-heat” cows for artificial insemination
- Cleaning calf, maternity, dry-stock, bullock, and bull sheds.
- Feeding half of the daily concentrate ration to calves, pregnant cows, and bulls.
- Exercising and grooming of bulls.
- Treating sick animals.
- Breeding cows that are “in-heat”.
- Harvesting, chaffing and feeding of green fodder to all the stock. Mangers in all sheds should be filled with green fodder.
Basically, you can carry out these activities by employing skilled manpower. And as the owner of the farm, you have to concentrate on the marketing aspects, profitability, and definitely expansion of your dairy farming business.
Rupak is the founder of MUVSI. He is a small business consultant by profession. His mission is to make people know how to make money and understand personal finance for a better living.