Improving Dairy Animal Productivity and Income of Dairy Farmers through Effective Control of Mastitis Disease
Principal Investigator (PI) and Lead Institution
Dr. Keshav Prasad Sah, Heifer Project International Nepal
Co-PI and Collaborator Institutions
Department of Livestock Services, Himalayan College of Agricultural Science and Technology
Dairy is the most important sub sector of livestock production in Nepal and contributes almost two-thirds to the livestock share of the GDP. Despite this, the per capita availability of Animal Source Food (ASF) in terms of milk and milk products is low (60 kg per capita per year), mainly due to low levels of productivity. The low level of productivity is the cumulative effect of poor genetics, poor and inappropriate feeding management, and a large number of diseases of economic significance. Mastitis is one of the most significant diseases of dairy animals and has multifaceted dimensions including economic losses to farmers, technical significance to the dairy processing industry, and health hazards to consumers. The primary objective of the proposed project is to enhance the livelihoods of smallholder dairy farmers through increased income from productivity improvement of dairy animals by the effective control of mastitis. The specific objectives are to: (1) Identify major gaps in Good Husbandry Practices (GHP) adoption (barn hygiene and animal health, personal hygiene and cleanliness of dairy equipment), associated constraints and motivational factors for adoption by smallholder dairy farmers; (2) Examine and quantify the correlation between conductivity readings (through Lactoscan) and somatic cell count (SCC) in cows with or without mastitis; (3) Identify proper extension approaches/tools for wider scale use of mastitis control technologies; (4) Identify the most effective antibiotics for clinical mastitis cases; and (5) Create awareness about the effect of clinical mastitis and haphazard use of antibiotics in developing livestock and human health hazards among smallholder farmers.
The activities will be implemented in four districts of the mid-western development region, namely in the Surkhet, Bardiya, Banke and Dang districts. A total of 400 dairy animal keeping households (100 from each district) will be included in this project. Policy recommendations will be made motivating farmers for the adoption of GHP, Post Milking Teat Dipping (PMTD), and Dry Cow Therapy (DCT) technologies for mastitis control, and a training course will be developed to help farmers easily adopt the good practices.
Photo credit: Prerana Karki
Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Livestock Systems
Department of Animal Sciences
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