ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Dairy Development Company (PDDC) held a field day on one of its Model Farms, located in Jhelum District Thursday and expressed intention to establish 10 model farms replicating the existing one. About 110 dairy farmers attended the event, at which Dr. Muhammad Afzal, Chief Executive of Livestock and Dairy Development Board, Mr. Geoff Walker, CEO of PDDC, Dr. Iftikhar Babar, Deputy Secretary Ministry Industries, Production and Special Initiatives and staff of the Special Initiatives Cell of the Ministry of Industries were also present on the occasion.
The farm is included in the PDDC’s Model Farm Programme for five months. When the first joined, it was supplied with fencing, cooling systems, a water bore, and water troughs. But, most importantly, the farmer gained access to the farm advisory service being operated by PDDC to support its Model Farmers. The CEO of PDDC noted that it was the technology transfer associated with the Model Farm Programme which was most important – the assets provided under the programme are there only to allow new and more productive farm management practices.
Staff of PDDC, in the course of the field day, showed how milk production on the Model Farm increased by 30 percent as a result of the new farm and animal management practices. PDDC also gave practical demonstrations of technology used in dairy farms. The field day was also supported by Askari Bank, one of the key partner banks in conjunction with a supplier of cattle feed.
PDDC holds field days on its Model Farms in order to introduce more farmers to its programme, and also to share ideas among its farmers in the surrounding district. This is a traditional method of advancing productivity among farmers in developed dairy farm economies, including Australia and New Zealand.
The Model Farmer was most enthusiastic about the advances he had achieved since joining the PDDC programme. He described the support he had received from PDDC as excellent. His cows were healthier than ever, and his veterinary costs had reduced. Milk production has increased, and cost of milk production reduced. Most importantly, his profit has increased enormously. The farmer said that he was sure to invest more in his dairy farm in future, as he knew that by following the recommendations of PDDC, he would achieve a good return on his investment.
Mr. Geoff Walker, in speaking to the farmers at the field day, expressed the hope that many more of them would join the programme, and that he was confident they would get similar benefits. Mr. Walker noted that PDDC has six farmers enrolled in its programme in Jhelum, while that the company intends to increase the number ten fold.-SANA