Though India is amongst the biggest milk producing countries of the world, still the average production of per animal in India pales in comparison to the milk produced by other countries in the world like New Zealand, Australia, USA, France etc and is a major area of concern. According to a working report of Niti Aayog entitled- Demand and Supply Projections onwards 2033 for agriculture and allied sectors “The overall productivity of Dairy sector is low because of inadequate nutrition from green fodder, along with dry residue and protein concentrate.
While for most of the farmers’ dairy is a source of livelihood round the year, owing to poor reproductive efficiency the economic returns from livestock trading is feeble. Low reproductive efficiency arises from deficiency and/or imbalance of micro and macro nutrients.
The technological interventions that are facilitating evolution of agriculture as per the requirements of the market are also happening in the realm of feed industry as well. The technical interventions that the feed sector is expecting needs to focus on herd composition and their data analysis, data pertaining to variations of supplement with stages of lactation or season and sharing this data with the dairy practitioners and to provide data pertaining to feeding standards of concentrate that would have an effect on the quantity of milk produced.
National Dairy Development Board undertook a detailed mineral mapping of different areas of the country sometimes ago and had accordingly prepared a detailed mineral mixture recommendation for better results in dairy industry in India.
However, very few practitioners are aware about existence of such a mineral mixture map for each geographical area detailing the kind of minerals that have to be provided to the animals along with the fodder. One size does not fit all, but it continues to be the guiding principle as far as providing mineral mixture is concerned, though there is detailed variation in the quantum of minerals in feeds and fodder from one region to region. So, it is necessary to produce region specific mineral mixture accordingly. This would help in strengthening the cattle feed value chain which is vital for further rapid growth of the dairy sector.
The challenge is to find out the optimum mixture as the science of mixing of feed is quite complicated and the overriding concern always is to obtain a standardised and homogeneous formulation that would lead to optimal and consistent animal performance.
Coupled with the challenge of optimum mixture is also the challenge of the quality component of the mix which also has an impact on the qualitativeness and output of the milk. The basic ingredient that goes into making of the feed to form an optimum mixture does not undergo a test, though it needs to be done. Qualix aims to cater to this component and has solutions that can determine the basic quality of the material used for making the optimum mixture and can also certify the authenticity.
Standardised and homogenous formulation can now be facilitated to a great extent through the technology enabled solutions that match the mineral requirements of the animals. In case of animal feed value chain, it is more so imperative as the vertical and horizontal integration of various factors in production and distribution is evolving.