India has basically been an agricultural country and it is likely to continue to be so for a long time to continue. At present 70 per cent of Indians depends for their livelihood on agriculture. Thirty percent of land holdings are held by 70 per cent of small and marginal farmers who held 80 per cent of the total livestock in the country. Crop agriculture in India depends mainly on bullocks, which contribute approximately 40,0000 MW of power to agriculture.
The production and use of animal products in the human diet is receiving tremendous attention. With object in view, the need of developing Animal Husbandry is recognized very well. The other objectives are to provide animal power for farming, adoption of better land use pattern, the land which is not suited for arable cropping should be put under grass or tree so much needed for protection of soil. Among other objectives of Animal Husbandry, the utilization of agro-industrial byproducts for converting those in to valuable animal products so much needed by all of us. The creation of thousand of employment opportunities through out the year by adopting animal industry on large scale shall also be a part of the objectives of animal husbandry in India.
It is therefore essential to have the basic knowledge to the students of agriculture about the animal husbandry and dairying for animal production, milk production and milk products.
The dairy unit was established with a small herd of cows and buffaloes in the year 1958 with the object to impart training to the under¬graduate students of agriculture. With the establishment of Agricultural University, the college dairy was converted in to University Livestock Instructional Farm in the year 1969 and was shifted to the present premises in the year 1971. The objects of maintaining the cows and buffaloes at Livestock Instructional farm Akola are:
=> To cater the need of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching programme.
=> To fulfill the requirement of research facilities
=> To provide the milk for research, students and staff members.
=> Master Of Science (M.Sc.) Animal Husbandry
=> Master Of Science (M.Sc.) (Agri.) Dairy Science
=> Doctor Of Philosophy ( Ph.D.) Animal Husbandry
=> Doctor Of Philosophy (Ph.D.) Dairy Science
The research programme is conducted by the department in 3 ways i.e. Post Graduate Research, Departmental Research and Personal Research of Staff. So far 308 and 8 students have completed their post graduate and Ph.D. research in the subject since 1969 to 2007 respectively. These students worked on various topics in the specialized fields of the subject.
Major Area of the Research carried by the Students and staff
A. Animal Husbandry
=> Characterization of breeds of cattle and buffalo
=> Nutritional status of animal in Vidarbha region
=> Growth performance of heifer by feeding different feeds and fodder
=> Effect on milk production by feeding different feeds and fodder
=> Enrichment of low quality feeds by different methods
=> Fodder value of different feed stuff
=> Fodder value of different tree leaves in the forest
=> Efficiency of milk production in cows and buffaloes
=> Care and management aspect
=> Performance of crossbred cattle in rural area
=> Constraints in adoption of improved dairy management practices.
=> Cultivation of various fodder crops for yield and chemical composition study
=> Studies on milk cooperatives society
=> Water consumption for milk production
=> Effect of mineral supplements on milk production
=> Nutrition evaluation of feeds and fodder.
B. Dairy Science
=> Studies on methods of preparation of different indigenous milk products
=> Chemical analysis of milk and milk products
=> Preparation of value added products
=> Preparation of milk products blending with soymilk, coconut milk and pea-nut milk.
=> Study on shelf life of milk and milk products
=> Utilization of high acidic milk for preparation of milk products
=> Utilization of fruit pulps and juices in milk products
=> Beverage production from whey.
=> Research Achievements
Efforts are being made to maintain and conserve the different breeds of indigenous cow, with the help of artificial insemination technique by using semen procured from BAIF, Urdikanchan, Pune and other semen laboratories. However the semen of Gaolao breed cow and buffalo strain of Nagpuri breed is not available and hence breeding bulls are kept on the farm for breeding purpose for the animals. These breeds are meant for milk, teaching, research and demonstration to farmers and extension workers.
=> Total Land
=> Area under cultivable land
=> Area under seasonal crop
=> Area under perennial grasses
=> Area under building, road etc
Following laboratories are established in the Department
=> Livestock Instructional Farm
=> Animal Nutrition
=> Animal Husbandry
=> Dairy Bacteriology
=> Dairy Chemistry
=> Dairy Technology
Facilities available in the laboratories for Practical and Research Work.
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