Acknowledging dairy farming as one of the substantial contributing factors to rural development, Nestlé India has been working with local dairy farmers since 1961. This successful long term relationship is based upon the foundation of trust that the Company has built with farmers by closely working with them through its philosophy of Creating Shared Value.
Today,we work with around 100,000 milk farmers collecting about 300 million kilograms of quality milk every year.
Our Agriservices team, including agronomists and veterinarians, engage people at the farm level to provide training and technical assistance to farmers to improve quality and productivity of milk while developing sustainable farming practices at the same time.
While engaging with rural communities, we recognised that village women are the primary caretakers of cattle and play a significant role in dairy farming. As a result, the Village Woman Dairy Development(VWDD) Programme - an initiative focusing on empowering village women engaged in dairy farming was formally launched in 2006.
The objective of the programme is to empower women dairy farmers to improve quality and productivity of milk. Through education we aim to harness their potential by building an entrepreneurial spirit in village women. To date, the programme has reached to over 58,600 village women across the States of Punjab, Haryana and Rajasthan.
The programme has positively impacted lives of women dairy farmers and enhanced their understanding on how to adopt sustainable dairy farming practices. These are some among the many success stories.
“My family consists of my husband and two sons. Ever since I got married I have been working in the farm along with doing the household work. Over the last few years we have experienced quite a huge economic improvement as my contribution to the family’s income has increased. Initially I had two cattle and most of the milk collected was used within the house. However, over the years, by implementing what I learned from the VWDD programme, I have been able to improve the productivity of my cattle and expand my cattle. Today I have six cattle and earn a monthly income of about Rs. 24,000 from selling milk. I also help my husband in running the Nestlé milk collection agency and we collect more than 1,000 liters of milk from the nearby villages. Recently I started my own biogas plant, which I learnt about through the VWDD programme. This plant helps us easily meet the energy needs of our farm and kitchen.”
Manjinder Kaur, 42 years
Village Daya Kalan, Moga district, Punjab
“My family owns sixteen acres of land where we grow wheat, paddy, vegetable and fodder for our cattle. Initially, we had two cattle and never really planned on expanding our dairy as we were earning our income from farming. But when I participated in the VWDD programme and learnt that I could earn from dairy farming as well, I started investing in expanding our cattle herd.
I also learnt about sustainable agricultural practices and encouraged my husband to start implementing them in our farm. Currently I have nine cattle and sell 75 kgs of milk in a month, this has not only increased our income but also improved our livelihood. I have been saving money to reinvest in the dairy farming and to contribute towards my children’s higher education. I also plan to build a cattle shed and a biogas plant on our farm. I feel the VWDD programme has not only helped me but many other women in the region who have been able to contribute to their household income and overall development of the region.”
Raj Kaur, 50 years
Village Kishan Pura, Moga district, Punjab
“I live in village Varroke with my husband, two sons and one daughter. When I got married, we only had two cattle, but with support from the Nestlé Agriservices team I started expanding my dairy business. Today I have eight cattle and five acres of land on which I grow fodder for animals. My husband also earns by collecting milk for Nestlé.
I feel empowered with the knowledge gained through Village Women Dairy Development Programme (VWDDP). I have learnt about quality feeding practices for cattle, importance of regular health check-ups for animals and good agricultural practices. Now I sell 75 kgs of milk per month and earn Rs. 50,000 out of which I am able to save Rs. 25,000 for household activities.
I believe women are hardworking and this programme has helped me unleash my potential. I have adopted tailoring as an additional occupation along with dairy farming. I am very happy with my economic independence and I can now support my family and send my children abroad for higher education for a bright future. I think education plays an important role for the empowerment of women while developing their confidence and business skills. I would like to further expand my dairy farming business to increase the number of cows from eight to twenty.”
Kulwant Kaur, 45 years
Village Varroke, Moga district, Punjab