The IFC/WB* financed Dairy Supply Chain Development Project in Punjab, Pakistan, which started in 2015 will conclude at the end of 2018. In cooperation with VeteffecT and Solve Agri Pak, Bles Dairies Consultancy has trained in total 50 Dairy Development Executives (DDEs): individual professionals, such as graduated veterinarians, with a great amount of theoretical knowledge, however, with a lack of practical experience. The DDEs were therefore trained on practical knowledge, enabling them to transfer their newly gained practical knowledge to the local dairy farmers, who were in need of hands-on skills and information.
The Pakistani branch of Nestlé had a high demand for fresh and high quality milk. Therefore, Pakistani dairy farmers have been expanding their herd or switching to a pure milk breed cow, in order to achieve a higher milk production per animal and a higher farm income, but it is a challenge keeping these animals under the climatically hard circumstances. A pure milk breed cow, such as the Holstein Friesian, is more susceptible to foot problems than local breeds, but there is a lack of hoof trimming specialists. Hence, this project focused on specialised technical knowledge and specific skills that are required to make dairy farming more successful, i.e. producing more milk of higher quality. Various aspects of farm management such as breeding and fertility, cow signals, young stock rearing and management, milking, milk hygiene and mastitis were dealt with during the trainings.
On ten selected model farms, the DDEs were trained in three sessions of three days over a period of one year. Local dairy experts in cooperation with international specialists provided the trainings. In between, the DDEs had time to implement their newly gained knowledge and skills on locally selected pilot farms of between 25 – 100 cows per farm. And, great progress was made! Many aspects changed in a positive way on the model farms. For example, at one farm the daily milk production increased to an average of 30 litres per cow. And at another farm, the average growth of calves went to over 700 grams per day.
Through the practical trainings, our Bles Dairies experts have provided the necessary guidelines entailing more self-confidence resulting in improvement and better results. Learning by doing pays off. We are therefore delighted that IFC has decided to use this format for providing trainings to DDEs in Uganda as well. Translating theoretical knowledge into practical and effective actions and advice are the spearhead of that project and we are confident that Bles Dairies Consultancy’s contribution will be valuable for the Ugandan dairy sector.
*Click here for more information about IFC/WB.