Dairy Farming In Punjab, Breeds – How To Start

Introduction on How to Start Dairy Farming in Punjab, Dairy Breeds, and Business Plan: The dairy farming business is a type of agriculture that is focused mainly on the production of milk. This is different from raising animals to produce meat and milk can be used to produce dairy products, including cheese. In Punjab, dairy farming has been part of agriculture for thousands of years. Dairy cows are bred to produce large milk quantities.

A Guide on How to Start Dairy Farming in Punjab, Dairy Breeds, Loans, Subsidies, and Business Plan

Cow Farming in Punjab
Cows (Image Source: pixabay)

Dairy farming business means increasing high milk productive dairy cows for the production of milk. The commercial dairy cow agricultural business is not a new thought and people are increasing dairy cows for the production of milk from the earliest time. Dairy farming is a useful business enterprise throughout the world. There are different new and well-known dairy cow farms presented in the world. There are many advantages of the dairy farming business compared to other businesses.

Milk and milk products play an important role in human food consumption. The business plan is very important before starting a dairy farming business, there are certain things you need to remember before you entering into this business. The dairy farm business has excellent opportunities.

Information about Dairy Farming in Punjab

Usually, dairy farming requires enough resources, capital, and adequate land for keeping the desired number of dairy animals. Also, it involves growing good quality fodder, grasses, and legumes to feed the cows sufficiently. You must be prepared to have enough food to feed the cows according to the requirements during winter and dry seasons.

The dairy farming business is mostly helpful to young and educated farmers in Punjab. Then, the dairy growth has been marred by high input costs, diminishing returns, and a lack of mechanization. It takes a lot of money and capital to start up a business. You must know what you’re getting into and how you want to get into it before you start a dairy farm business. Also, dairy farming provides a tool for socio-economic development and gives you a good amount of earnings as well.

The number of such farms is stagnant at 10,000 for the past 3 years according to Punjab Dairy Development Board (PDDB). In Punjab, farmers have worked hard in dairy development. Though, their produce is not fetching adequate price, thus making dairy farming a non-lucrative business. Milk is the main product of the livestock sector accounting for nearly 80% of the total value of the output of livestock.

Dairy farming in Punjab has an important income source for providing income-generating opportunities. About 6,000 progressive dairy farmers in Punjab and the state have more such farmers, with farms varying in size from 10 to 500 high-yielding cow breeds. Also, the daily milk production by these farms is about 12 to 15 lakh liters. The commercial dairy farming in the state can be gauged from the fact those 7 years ago, it had about 600 commercial dairy farms, while today it has over 6,000 dairy farms. These remunerative ventures are spreading, increasingly progressive and enterprising farmers are entering this business.

The dairy business loans in Punjab can be used for several purposes like purchase of animals related to dairy products, shed construction, dairy items, farm equipment, farm construction, milking machines, chaff cutter, and much more.

Dietary/Feed Requirements for Dairy Animals in Punjab

Dairy animals mostly eat grass, there are also man-made supplements given to them to produce nutritious milk. Usually, cows survive on the grass; however, with the agricultural produce reducing in recent days, they tend to depend on artificially produced supplements for extra food.

Cows need many dietary components to stay healthy. Dairy cows that produce more milk require a higher amount of protein like mixed grass-legume pasture, alfalfa, and other protein supplements. Also, they need salt and minerals. And, keeping them energetic and healthy is important to produce the dairy business. Some of the feeding options for dairy cows are;

Hay – Hay is the best option for those who cannot spend on alfalfa which is expensive. Oat and wheat hay are affordable, and also they are a good option to meet the supplementary requirements of the cows.

Silage – This is common option farmers choose to feed their cows. It is a high-quality feed for the cows, and these include silos, haylage, and others.

Grains – Grains meet the nutritional requirements of dairy cows and it is the highest energy food with high nutritive value.

How Safe is Dairy Business in Punjab?

In case if you miss this: Poultry Farming In Brazil.

Dairy Business In Punjab
Dairy Cows (pic credit: pixabay)

There are several benefits of starting a profitable dairy farming business. Also, it is useful for the milk processing business. Almost all dairy products have an enormous demand all over the world and this is the main benefit of starting a dairy cow farming business. The dairy farming business is one of the most interesting segments all over the globe and milk demands will never decrease; it will rise regularly parallel to the present population. You do not have to be troubled advertising the dairy products because it is with the established business and capable to advertise your products simply.

The dairy farming business does not pollute the location and it is an eco-friendly business. Also, you can begin dairy farming by utilizing the necessary milk processing equipment. It is a good business plan to appropriately use your family labor for using this equipment properly. Proper dairy business and animal care and administration can make sure highest profits.

The dairy farming business is a safe business for several reasons;

  • It is an eco-friendly business and does not cause environmental pollution as compared to other industries.
  • The requirement of skilled labor is less for the dairy business.
  • The entire establishment can be shifted to a new location if the need arises like Fire, and Floods, etc.
  • The initial investment in the dairy business is low in comparison to other types of industries.
  • The milk demand is increasing rapidly.
  • Cow dung is good organic manure it increases soil fertility and also it can be used for the production of biogas.
  • Milk demands and its products will never reduce because vegetarians and non-vegetarians will have milk.
  • You don’t want to worry about marketing the products because it is a traditional business so you can sell the products easily.
  • You can also increase dairy production through mechanization instead of using labor.

Proper planning, management, and taking good care of your dairy animals will provide maximum profit. So, you will get a great income source.

Some Necessary Tips for Dairy Farming in Punjab

You may also check this: How To Start Goat Farming In The USA.

Dairy Business In Punjab
Dairy Animals (pic credit: pixabay)

Research – Research is an important part of setting up anything and everything in business. You should know all details of how you can establish your dairy farm business. You can study about different dairy animals that suit the dairy farm business and their demand. Researching about a few successful dairy farms will give you a lot of valuable information about your dairy business development. Also, you can contact agricultural and government institutions to understand the requirements for setting up a dairy farm business.

Regulatory work – Setting up a dairy farm will need different compliances in the form of necessary approvals and business licenses from local authorities. You should contact the authorities to understand the approval process and work accordingly to get the license. Whether you build your dairy farm from scratch or buy an old one, you will have to follow the legalities in both cases.

Subsidy and Loan – Setting up a dairy farm will need a lot of upfront investment in terms of money. Though, there are a lot of banks that offer easy loan facilities under the Dairy Farm Business Loan scheme. Also, contact your nearest bank to get more details about the loan scheme.

Feeding program – Contact a nutritionist who can help you find the best feed for calves, heifers, dry cows, and lactating cows. Either you can opt for total mixed ration or graze cattle. Both are essential for cows to keep themselves healthy and give milk.

Animal feed – When you are planning for a dairy farm, you want to graze your cattle with nutritious feed. This is important for healthy milk production and even for the healthy growth of the calf. Then, take the advice of animal nutritionists about the animal feed to be given for lactating cows and even for dry cows. In many dairy farms, it is seen that they produce their animal feed. Producing your farms and harvesting crops to feed animals or cattle graze can save a good amount of your investment. But as it needs sufficient place and time, you can hire operators who can help you with planting and harvesting plants. If you have your land then the double-cropping method can be beneficial for the dairy farming business.

Waste management – Dairy farms generate plenty of manure, if managed well, can become beneficial for the dairy owners. It can be used for crops, compost and also sold for additional revenue. Also, you will need a manure management plan as well as a nutrient management plan, depending on the size of your farm. You can contact local authorities for setting up these business plans.

Water supply – One of the major requirements is the clean water supply for the drinking and cleaning purposes of the shed. Also, by providing overhead tanks, arrangements can be carried out.

Facilities and Proper Shelter for Dairy Farming in Punjab

If you want to rear good kind of animals then there must be the provision of good kind of animal shed, feeding facilities, water facilities, Health provisions as well as owner know about it. (It means he should undergo training on dairy farming). In many circumstances, to reduce expenditure on the production cost of milk, dairy farmers must adopt recent methods to decrease cost on feed and labor by enhancing feed quality residues as well as mechanization and less labor-consuming practices in dairy farming.

Many times dairy farm owners could not pay attention to the daily schedule of dairy farms and you will always find that this kind of dairy farmer is always in the business loss. Also, building a proper shelter plays a crucial role in growing dairy. The shelter you develop should ensure maintaining appropriate weather conditions indoor, both during the summer and winter seasons. Try to keep the place warm and dry to make the cows feel comfortable, and there must be a separate shelter room for pregnant cows with continuous availability of food and water.

Proper ventilation, as well as a spacious shed, is required for dairy farming. To maintain cattle health, the construction of a shed is crucial and it ensures hygienic conditions for cattle.

Dairy Breeds in Punjab

Distribution of Native Breeds of Punjab

Before starting the dairy farm business, it is important to know the dairy animal breed you want to keep on your farm. Good dairy breed selection is important for a successful dairy farming business. Opt for the dairy cow/cattle breed that meets climatic conditions as well as high milking capacity requirements. You could take a tour of the local farms, and you can proceed ahead by observing the various breed types.

Hariana, Sahiwal, Rathi, Nagori, and Tharparkar are the 5 indigenous cow breeds in Punjab. In Punjab, Fazilka or Bangla tops rank with around 69,000 indigenous cow breeds, and Sangrur with 51,000 cow breeds, Bathinda 33,000, Mansa 31,679, and Muktsar 24,481 cow breeds. Sahiwal breed is the most popular breed in Fazilka.

Distribution of Buffalo Breeds of Punjab


  • Murrah is the important buffalo breed that belongs to the Nabha and Patiala districts of Punjab.
  • This is otherwise known as Delhi, Kundi, and Kali.
  • The Murrah color is jet black with white markings on the tail and face.
  • Murrah cows are efficient milk and butterfat producers.
  • It has a butterfat content of about 7% and the average milk yield is 6.8 kgs /day.
  • It is available across all districts of Punjab.

Nili Ravi:

  • In Punjab, the Nili Ravi breed is mainly found in the Sutlej valley in the Ferozpur district.
  • Nili Ravi breed is originated around the river Ravi.
  • The milk yield is 1500 to 1850 kgs per lactation.
  • It has an inter calving period of about 500-550 days and the age at first calving is 45 to 50 months.
  • Also, it is mostly found in Firozpur, Gurdaspur, Sangrur, Hoshiarpur, Amritsar, Jalandhar, Patiala, Tarn Taran, Rupnagar, and Ludhiana.
  • Its head is small, bulging at the top and depressed between eyes.

Distribution of Cattle Breeds of Punjab


  • Sahiwal breed is also called Lola, Teli, Lambi Bar, Montgomery, and Multani.
  • It is known as the best indigenous dairy breed. It has the average milk yield is between 1400 to 2500 kilograms per lactation. It can be found in many parts of India like Haryana, Punjab.
  • The animals are good for specialized dairy purposes. The breeding tract of the dairy breed is the Ferozpur, Abohar, and Amritsar districts of Punjab.
  • The Sahiwalcows are brownish-red in color, and shades can change from a mahogany red-brown to more greyish red.
  • In Punjab, the Sahiwalbreed is mostlyfound in Firozpur, Muktsar, Ludhiana, Bathinda, Amritsar, and Sangrur districts.


  • Hariana cow breed is an indigenous breed of dairy cattle in Punjab.
  • It is mainly found in Sangrur, Bathinda, Mansa, Ludhiana, Barnala, and Muktsar.
  • The bull of this dairy breed has an average weight of 5qtl and the cow has 3.5qtl. It gives average milk of 1.5kg/cow/day and the cow of this breed gives average milk of 1000 liters per lactation period. The milk contains 4.4% fat content.
  • The cows are good milk yielders, and bulls are good at work.
  • The Hariana dairy breed is found in eastern Punjab is one of the 75 known breeds of zebu.

Nutritious Fodder Management for Dairy Farming in Punjab

It is very important to know the nutritious food for dairy animals. Providing dairy animals with clean drinking water is of great importance. To produce 1 liter of fresh milk cattle need 5 liters of clean and fresh water.

In the dairy farming business, fodder management is extremely crucial. The daily milk yield of a cow is based on the fodder type as well as the nutritional facts associated with the available fodder. High-yielding cows should receive 1 kg of concentrate and mineral mixture to obtain 2.5 liters of milk production. Suppose that, if a cow yields about 15 liters of milk regularly, then that cow must be given around 6 kg of concentrate along with a mineral mixture. After that coming to food, always feed cattle with loads of green fodder. Green fodder will mainly help in producing more milk and saves the cost of feeding for the owner. Timothy, Clover, and Alfalfa are the best kinds of green fodder to be given to dairy cattle.

Conditions Required for Dairy Farming in Punjab

Vaccination Program

Before proceeding ahead with giving any vaccination for dairy animals, deworming should take place to obtain successful outcomes. Nevertheless, deworming should be carried out regularly, and the veterinary doctor is likely to be your point of contact concerning the same. The dairy diseases monitored under the vaccination program are- Foot and Mouth Diseases, Theileriosis, Rabies, Brucella, Anthrax, Hemorrhagic Septicemia, and other diseases.

Hygiene for disease-free and fit

It is the most important thing to keep in mind before you start the dairy business. It is suggested to have a veterinary doctor close by to the dairy farm to ensure ease of access and availability. It is necessary to keep the dairy animals vaccinated timely by a veterinary doctor to keep them fit.

A Clean and Hygienic House

The main requirement is to keep dairy cows and cattle stay happy and gain more productivity. It should be well ventilated, and floors must be non-slippery. The shed must be away from the roadside at least 900 square meters away and not be positioned at lower lying areas as during heavy rains water will fill up those areas first. Usually, 40 to 80 square feet of open space is required per animal.

Dairy Marketing and Development Department in Punjab

Director Dairy is the Head of the District and is mainly responsible for carrying out the departmental functions in the district such as providing education about the dairy farm; extension services to the dairy farmers and prospective dairy farmers to motivate them to assist them to establish a mini and commercial dairy farm and also to adopt latest techniques of dairy farming. Milk consumer awareness camps are also organized. It is recommended that heads in various cities or towns of the district in which free facilities for testing milk are provided to the consumers. Then, this awareness among the milk consumers about the quality of milk they buy.

Once you have established your business, you should move towards developing and marketing dairy products. Since milk and milk products have good demand, and it will not be difficult for you to do good business. In this digital age, you can opt for social media as a marketing tool besides using other traditional marketing ways.

Incentives under Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Schemes or NABARD Schemes

The scheme of NABARD on Dairy Entrepreneurship Development is launched by the Centre Government. Dairy units of about 2 to 10 milch animals are established cost of Rs. 1.20 lakh to 6.00 Lakh under this scheme. In this scheme;

  • Raising cattle and buffaloes to 20 calves cost Rs. 5.30 Lakh,
  • Consumption of Milking machines/Milkotesters or Bulk Milk Cooling Units up to 5000 liters cost Rs. 20 Lakh,
  • Purchase of dairy processing equipment for indigenous milk products manufacturing cost of about Rs. 26.50 Lakh,
  • Cold Storage Facilities for milk and milk products cost about Rs. 33 Lakh and Dairy Marketing outlet or Dairy parlor cost of Rs. 1.00 Lakh are also given.

National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is given by 25% subsidy for the General category and a 33% subsidy for SC/ST beneficiaries on all the components.

Purpose of the Dairy Farm Loan in Punjab

For improving the quality of dairy products, and make the dairy sector proper and organized, many dairy farming loans are available.

The dairy farm loans availed can be used for the below purposes;

  • For starting a new dairy farming unit or expanding an old dairy farming unit.
  • A dairy farm loan is also useful for the purchase of mulch animals and crossbred milch cows for small dairy businesses.
  • Rearing of crossbred of milch cows, younger calves, and buffalos.
  • Purchase of essential milk machinery such as Bulk Milk Chilling units, and dispersal systems, and milk vans, etc.
  • Construction, renovation, or expansion of dairy animal sheds.
  • For growing fodder for dairy animals, other working capital needs of the dairy farm.
  • Dairy manufactured goods transportation services
  • Cold Storage Services
  • Dairy Marketing Outlets

Who is Eligible for a Dairy Farm Loan?

Below is a list of who can apply for a dairy farm loan;

  • Farmers who have engaged in dairy farm activities previously.
  • Individual entrepreneurs who have previously engaged in dairy activities.
  • The dairy farm is also eligible for some groups belonging to the unorganized and organized dairy farming sector.
  • Self-help groups, NGOs, Milk Unions Cooperative Societies, and Milk Federations.

There are certain mandatory conditions for Cooperative societies. The societies must have a supply of 1000 liters of milk per day on an average to its affiliated milk union and should have earned pre-tax profits in the preceding 2 years of the time at which the loan is applied.

Limitations and Constraints about Dairy Farming in Punjab

  • Animals breeding and getting expected milk yield is a biological phenomenon, which depends upon various factors.
  • The dairy farming business has good planning requires a hardworking and reliable and alert manager. In India, persons from the family take responsibility.
  • Inadequate management of feeding heard health and lack of quality control in various products can cause major loss affecting the profitability of the entire venture.

In India, Punjab is one of the leading states in dairying and milk production. As agricultural technology has shown signs of fatigue with a slowdown of income growth and reduced employment. Though, constraints associated with dairy farming limit its adoption.

In Punjab, approximately 45 commercial dairy farmers were selected with a stratified random sampling method from Majha, Malwa, and Doaba regions. A list of recommended practices under different categories like breeding, feeding, housing, milking, and health care practices was obtained from ‘Package of Practices in Veterinary and Animal Husbandry for Livestock and Poultry’ published by GADVASU (Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University), Ludhiana.

For dairy farming, distant locations of veterinary hospitals, lack of organized milk marketing facilities in villages were some of the other prominent problems they were facing. Dairy farming can be a viable source to enhance rural income and can be a profitable income source for rural masses if their problems are to be addressed with the utmost attention.


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