For small and marginal dairy farmers in the country, alternative approaches such as ethno-veterinary medicines (EVM) for management of common animal ailments would offer a cost-effective intervention.

Inaugurating the ethno-veterinary preparation (EVP) supply chain facility of Sabarkantha Milk Union, Dilip Rath, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board, said the healthcare management of animals is important, particularly when they are maintained in small herds.

“The majority of dairy farmers in our country are small or marginal who find it difficult to afford a veterinarian or bear the treatment charges when their animals fall sick. Adoption of alternative approach for the management of common ailments of animals especially through ethno-veterinary medicine will offer a very cost-effective and easy option to the farmers with ingredients usually available locally,” he said.

NDDB is collaborating with Sabarkantha Milk Union as the incubation centre to test the concepts related to mastitis control and propagation of EVM since 2014. According to INAPH data, around 22 per cent of the cases were related to the udder ailments.

Due to NDDB’s intervention, sub-clinical mastitis reduced from 55 per cent to 20 per cent and somatic cell count and total platelet count also declined.

NDDB plans to extensively propagate the EVM concept by field training and motivating personnel involved in animal husbandry.

This concept is also getting recognised by the International Dairy Federation (IDF) as well as IDA as a sustainable model for the developing world.