Context: Banni is known as biggest grass lands of Asia since decades. Banni has 19 Group Gram Panchayats covering 48 villages. Since generations people depend on animal husbandry for livelihood. History says, in this region milk and ghee did not had any cost, till the depletion of best quality grass due to unchecked over grazing which gradually increased the maintenance expense of keeping cattle. Over a period of time, milk and ghee became a commodity but furnished irrational price at local level. In the year 2008, Bhiradiyara Panchayat along with other Gram Panchayats of Banni initiated a thought on ‘dairy’ to sustain animal husbandry business.
At various platforms including Gram Sabha Bhiradiyara Gram Panchayat started building up on the thought of ‘dairy’, development of allied activities like pond and grazing land and bringing in consensus of citizens. The discussions also reached Banni cattle nurturing Maldhari union and Sahjeevan, an NGO working on environmental issues. With the support of Sahjeevan, the discussions and willingness to get organized for better milk market reached NDDB. NDDB commissioned an assessment survey to get an estimate of every day milk pouring in the region.
After getting a positive picture from the assessment survey, first chilling centre was started at Bhiradiyara by NDDB. The demonstration effects of the success also pulled Sarhad and Mother Dairy to the region to start their chilling centres. Within a short period, the chilling centres were also opened at Hodaka and Dhorado villages of the region. Today, every day, average 1 lac litre of milk is provided from Banni region to several such milk dairies. Before five years, nobody was ready to buy cow milk at Rs. 10/- and buffalo milk at Rs. 15/-. Today, cow milk is sold for rupees 15 – 22 /- per liter while buffalo milk is sold at Rs. 25 to 35 per liter.
- Standard of living of people has been improved with improvement in milk rates.
- Citizens are become more optimistic towards cattle husbandry business.
- Building a local market opportunity has addressed the issue of migration.
Confidence after livelihood security has boosted and citizens have started getting united for rights base issues.
- Well established MIS with code number of each cattle breeder has left no scope for mediators.
- On sight fat measurement leaves no scope for unethical practices.
- Quality grazing land provides fertile ground for the business to flourish.
- Land trading to companies has initiated in Banni region which will result to diminish grazing lands available to the cattle.
- Fencing practices on grazing land of Banni may possible affect the business of cattle breeding.
- With the increase in tourism sector in the region, Banni’s grasslands are susceptible to various kinds of pollution.