Using Dairy Value Chains to Identify Production Constraints and Biosecurity Risks
Department of Veterinary &Animal Husbandry Extension Education, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana 141004, India
School of Public Health and Zoonoses, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana 141004, India
Sydney School of Veterinary Science, The University of Sydney, Camden 2570, New South Wales, Australia
School of Public Health, Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh 160012, India
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Thessaly, 43100 Karditsa, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Animals 2020, 10(12), 2332; https://doi.org/10.3390/ani10122332
Received: 27 October 2020 / Revised: 30 November 2020 / Accepted: 1 December 2020 / Published: 8 December 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Animal System and Management)
The dairy industry plays a key role in the Indian economy. This study was conducted to understand the dairy inputs and outputs and to identify production constraints and biosecurity. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted in the Punjab state of India with 119 participants, including veterinarians, paraveterinarians, veterinary academics, dairy farmers and key informants. Farm inputs (e.g., feed and animal health services) and outputs (e.g., milk, animal sales, carcass and manure disposal) were mapped. Production constraints and biosecurity practices were identified and included the availability of green and dry fodder, provision of veterinary services by untrained practitioners, improper disposal of carcass/placenta/excreta, absence of health certification during sale or purchase of animals and absence of testing of village bulls. The government was a major provider of health and management services in the state, although a very high proportion of farmers relied on untrained or partially trained service providers for health advice and veterinary procedures. Improvement in biosecurity practices and adequate use of personal protective equipment is recommended to reduce the incidence of infectious diseases and minimize their impact.
The dairy industry plays an important role in the economy and food security of India. A study of the dairy value chains was conducted in Punjab, India, to identify production constraints and biosecurity risks. Focus group discussions and key informant interviews were conducted during 2018–2019 with a total of 119 participants comprising veterinarians (41), paraveterinarians (15), veterinary academics (12), dairy farmers (46) and key informants (5). Input and output value chains were created, and potential risk nodes were identified that could facilitate the transmission of pathogens between animals, farms and villages. The majority of the participants were male (93%), middle-aged (68%) or worked in rural areas (75%). Most of the farmers self-cultivated their green fodder (82%), used the wheat straw from their own fields (60%) but purchased commercial feed (63%). Artificial insemination was used by 85% of farmers for cattle, but only 68% for buffaloes. Most of the farmers (76%) reported getting their animals vaccinated against foot-and-mouth disease and hemorrhagic septicemia. Animals were sold and purchased without any health certification and testing in most cases. Adoption of biosecurity measures by farmers and the use of personal protective equipment by veterinary personnel were very low. We recommend conducting epidemiological studies to further characterize the identified risk nodes, training of veterinary practitioners and farmers to ensure adequate biosecurity practices and the appropriate use of personal protective equipment.