A group of eight farm women and ten farmers of Lepcha and Bhutia tribes including three Nepalis from different villages of North District of Sikkim were imparted three days training on scientific dairy farming at the National Dairy Research Institute (NDRI) located here. The group was imparted tips pertaining to hilly situation on breed improvement of cattle, scientific feeding, shelter management and clean milk production by the experts of the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) and Dairy Training Centre (DTC) of NDRI said Dr. Dalip K. Gosain, Head of KVK. While interacting with this group Dr Gosain found that the farmers of North District of Sikkim were engaged in cultivation of rice, horticultural crops, cardamom, ginger through terrace cultivation and were keeping mostly cattle of local breed having low milk production. He emphasized that the dairy farm families should improve the breed of their cattle through artificial insemination (A.I.) so to have jersey cross bred cattle to get more milk. Dr Gosain stressed that only those farm families should adopt AI in their cattle who have a flair for dairying and were prepared to feed them scientifically as feeding has direct bearing on the production and reproduction of the elite cattle.
As the visiting group was feeding rice straw with grasses and tree leaves to their cattle He explained to them about the scientific feeding for better herd productivity. Dr. Gosain emphasized that more and more families in the north Sikkim should join milk cooperative societies and pour more milk in the society that would enhance income and employment in the rural areas through improved dairying. Bhawani Pradhan, Milk procurement officer of Milk union told that the members of the societies are being provided subsidised cattle feed A.I and other services to their cattle and assured collection of milk. It’s since 2008 that the state government has initiated a programme for this district and now nearly 33 milk cooperative societies have been constituted which collect milk and after meeting the demands in the Mangam Town sells the surplus milk to the tune of 200-300 litres per day to Gangtok. He added that nearly 48 lakh rupees were disbursed to the members of dairy cooperative societies in the past 26 months through their milk sold to the different societies. Ms.Chung-Chung Lepcha of village Gaur told that the people in her village of 62 households earlier sold milk to their neighbors. Now they sell it in the dairy society. Dr. Satyapal, Ms. Saroj Mehta and Mr. Mohar Singh of KVK interacted with the group on various issues of dairy production and processing.