Year: 2014 | Month: June | Volume 59 | Issue 2

Water Intensity of Milk Production : A Comparative Analysis from Waterscarce and Water Rich Regions of India

O. P. Singh P. K. Singh Rakesh Singh H. P. Singh P. S. Badal


Livestock plays an important role in socio-economic development of the rural population and also contributes significantly to India’s economy. Dairy farming is one of the water intensive livelihood activities in rural area because it consumes lot of embedded water in the form of feed and fodder. The overall objective of the present study was to estimate the irrigation water productivity of milk production in water rich and water scarce regions of India. The study shows that total irrigation water used to produce a litre of milk from buffalo, crossbred cow and indigenous cow is 3.27 m3, 2.18 m3 and 2.30 m3 respectively in Gujarat, whereas, 5.49 m3, 3.01 m3 and 4.86 m3 respectively in Punjab. In case of Kerala, total water used for producing a litre of milk from buffalo, crossbred cow, and indigenous cow is 3.90 m3, 2.51 m3 and 3.45 m3 respectively. India has a vast bovine population dominated by unproductive/ low milk yielding animals and these animals are competing with the natural resources i.e. land and water. Further amplification of bovine population in the country would add additional burden on already over-exploited natural resources including water. The gradual replacing a part of water intensive milk producing animal with water efficient milk producing animal, would help not only reduce the population of the unproductive animals but also substantially ease the pressure on our precious irrigation water without compromising on milk production. It is imperative to use available natural grasses which are available in forest/grazing land as a fodder for dairy animals to cut down the irrigation water which is used for fodder production. Further more it
is required to cultivate water efficient green fodder crops to cut down the blue water use for milk production.

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