TRAINING AND SUPPORT FOR DAIRY FARMERS
A key component of the USAID-DRDF Dairy Project is to provide training and support to dairy farmers. The program targets to train 9000 farmers and 100 farm managers during the project time of three years. The dairy farmer training component is aimed at bring a drastic change in the mindset of a common dairy farmer to understand the importance of dairy business and enable a shift from traditional farming towards modern dairy farming for improved milk yield from their existing dairy animals.
Farmers are trained on best dairy farming practices; including improved feeding and animal nutrition, basic level animal health management, farm equipment management, shed management and the importance of improved breeds through artificial insemination.
Three types of trainings are offered under the dairy farmer training component:
- A two-day training is for farmers with at least four adult dairy animals
- A four-day training is for farmers with at least ten adult dairy animals
- A month long training module is for farmers with at least 20 adult dairy animals.
Both the two day and four day training modules require reasonable literacy skills as a key criterion for the selection of prospective trainees, whereas, one month module also facilitates the training of young educated men aspiring to either be managing their own farms or get an employment at other farms as farm managers.
The dairy project’s farmer training component includes a clearly defined mix of theory (30%) and practical exercises (70%) for better understanding of the training lessons. Dairy farmers’ selection in these training programs is encouraged through community engagement. The project’s social mobilizers hold community meetings and get village specific information for identifying potential trainees. Final selection is done by evaluating participants’ profiles and their performance in test and interview. After hands on training, all participants’ level of understanding is examined and subsequently they are provided with a support kit to implement best farm management practices.
The trainings on dairy farm management will assist the farmers to revitalize their dairy farming business, and are part of USAID-DRDF Dairy Project’s support for Pakistan’s livestock sector, designed to fulfill the aim of helping farmers increase milk yields for better incomes.
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