Setting Up a Dairy Farm What Do We Need To Know


The emergence of India as a premier dairy nation of the world could be attributed mainly to the intensive crossbreeding programme implemented throughout the country over the last few decades. The population pressure and emerging global opportunities further necessitate efforts for enhancing animal productivity. As such there are tremendous opportunities for large scale investment and scope for commercial dairy farming. In view of this in recent years we are witnessing a trend towards the specialized and commercialized dairy farming. The major driving force behind this trend has been the liberalization of the economy and the globalization of trade with the signing of World Trade Organization (WTO) agreement. This has led to the enhancement in milk processing capacity manifolds as a result of entry of many big business houses in dairy sector and setting up of a large number of milk processing plants and feed industries in public and cooperative sectors besides in the private sector.

Enhancement in milk processing has necessitated the increased demand for milk and this triggered the setting up of many commercial dairy units in medium and small scale in different parts of the country. The shrinkage of land holdings and the displacement of labour from crop farming as a result of mechanization, introduction of high yielding crossbred cows and the easy accessibility of improved technologies, availability of compounded feed, feed blocks etc. are the other factors responsible for this shift from traditional mixed farming production to specialized dairy production system.

In view of these developments dairying with high yielding crossbred cows and buffaloes is receiving an emphasis which has generated ample scope for developing the dairy farming on commercial lines as a business enterprise. The dairy farming if adopted with dedication is capable of giving a return on the investment to the tune of 20-30 per cent or more which few other occupations are capable of. It is also very labour intensive enterprise and has manifold labour employment potential as compared to crop farming. The dairy farming is the most profitable venture when done in sub-urban areas or in areas around the metropolitan cities where there is a ready market of the milk and one can get high price of the milk produced.


The major requirements for the setting up of a dairy farm are the availability of land for the construction of sheds for the animals and for the production of fodder and availability of capital for the purchase of dairy animals, construction of dairy sheds and allied structures and for the purchase of equipment and machinery. It would be better if the entrepreneur has land for at least construction of the cattle sheds in his own name and the land for the production of fodder can be taken on lease or the fodder can be purchased from the market. The capital required could be raised through loans from nationalized banks which can be repaid in easy installments. This paper attempts to discuss the basic principles and guidelines essentially to be followed for the establishment and successful routine management of a commercial dairy farm. The paper also strives to evaluate the techno-economic viability of high yielding crossbred cow based small, medium and large sized commercial dairy farms model dairy farms. The suggested models can be replicated with suitable modifications under most parts of the country.