Organic Dairy Farming in India
Dairy farming has the potential for providing additional income to the farmers along with achieving major goal of organic farming i.e. diversified production and supporting biological cycle within farming system. India presently is the largest producer of milk in world supported with an astonishing growth rate in dairy sector. Apart from this, due to increasing consumer awareness, there has been an increased concern voiced over quality of milk and milk products including contamination, pollutant and the residual effect of various chemicals. Interest in organic dairy farming is increasing at a rapid pace worldwide as an alternative solution. Recent years have seen a sharp rise in demand of organic milk and milk products. Under Indian conditions, a rapid spread of organic dairy farming is possible because of some key geographical, cultural and economic advantages like traditional nature of farming and indigenous technical knowledge and practices followed by Indian farmers. But prevalence of small and marginal dairy farmers also poses many challenges for faster proliferation of organic dairy farming along with some other shortcomings.
The interest in organic crop and livestock farming remerges in recent time due to growing concerns about the conventional farming paradigm that relies on synthetic inputs to maximize yields which poses threats to the environment and health. Intensive farming by introduction of exotic species, land clearing, vegetation fragmentation, habitat change and soil erosion has been one of the main causes of biodiversity decline. On the other hand organic production focuses on building soil organic matter and biology to create a sustainable and dynamic environment for producing healthy food and feed and proved to be beneficial for flora and fauna. The quality of natural resource base is declining especially in the areas practising intensive farming for decades and there are increasing evidences of presence of toxic residues in food chain as a result of this chemical intensive farming confirmed by various researches. On the other hand consumers are increasingly seeking environmentally safe, chemical residue free healthy foods, along with product traceability and a high standard of animal welfare, which organic production system can ensure. Thus organic crop and livestock farming is gaining ground among Indian farmers. It is also considered as only feasible alternative and interesting option for sustainable agriculture in developing countries because it offers a unique combination of low external inputs and technology, environmental conservation and input/output efficiency. But unlike organic crop farming the concept and practice of organic dairy farming is relatively new.
Organic Dairy farming means rearing animals on organic feed (i.e. pastures cultivated without the use of fertilizers or pesticides), have access to pasture or outside, along with the restricted usage of antibiotics and hormones. It deliberately avoids the use of synthetic inputs such as drugs, feed additives and genetically engineered breeding inputs. Welfare of animals is also of prime importance under organic dairy farming system. Organic dairy farming is a system of production, a set of goal-based regulations that allow farmers to manage their own organic integrity.
At WhiteSpace, we have undertaken different case studies and found that the treatment of dairy animals with Organic products have a really soothing effect on their overall development. We are also arranging seminars, meetings with dairy farmers to aware them for the use of organic feed and restricted usage of antibiotics in the dairy animals. Accordingly, we have introduced a health drink for animals named as AniCure.
Vitamin A7,00,000 IU
Vitamin D370,000 IU
Vitamin E250 mg
Consumer awareness and demand for healthy food
There has been a trend over the last decade for products associated with lifestyle choices and process quality which ultimately justify premium price of organic products. The consumer’s interest in organic farming seems mainly to be related to care of their own health and the environmental impact of agriculture, better test but also to considerations of animal welfare. With increasing per capita income, change in lifestyle and food habits demand for organic dairy products is growing in domestic market as well as in foreign market, especially in the USA, EU, Japan, Argentina and Brazil. Literacy is on the rise and the media are making consumers more aware of and concerned about animal welfare issues and healthy foods. This may well boost the domestic consumption of organic foods.