Precision dairy farming: Opportunities and challenges for India

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  • PRAKASH KUMAR RATHOD International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, Telangana 502 324 India
  • SREENATH DIXIT International Crops Research Institute for Semi-Arid Tropics, Patancheru, Telangana 502 324 India


Dairy herd management, Information and communication technology (ICT), Precision dairy farming (PDF), Radio frequency identification (RFID)


Effective management of a dairy farm has to focus on individual animal apart from group or herd management since 'smallest production unit in the dairy is the individual animal’. In this context, precision dairy farming (PDF) aims to manage the basic production unit in order to exploit its maximal production capacity. PDF is the use of information and technology based farm management system to measure physiological, behavioural and production indicators of individual animals to improve management strategies, profitability and farm performance. PDF applications are finding their way on dairy farms, although there seem to be differences in the uptake of PDF applications between dairy systems. The authors have attempted to identify different PDF tools utilized across the globe and have highlighted the status of adoption in Indian scenario by highlighting about few farms/organizations involved in its utilization and uptake over the years. In this direction, the authors have also focused on several benefits and challenges faced by developing countries including India since the benefits are often not immediately apparent and they require more management expertise along with an investment of time and money to realize. In addition, the adoption rate depends on various factors like farmer education, farm size, perceptions of risk, ownership of a non-farm business etc. Addressing these issues is very essential for the uptake of technologies and hence, an effort has been made to propose strategies for adoption and operationalization of PDF in India and other developing countries where the similar scenario exists. The study also highlights that PDF in many developing countries including India is in its infancy, but there are tremendous opportunities for improvements in individual animal and herd management in dairy farms. The progressive farmers or the farmers’ groups, with guidance from the public and private sectors, and professional associations, can adopt it on a limited scale as the technology shows potential for raising yields and economic returns on fields with significant variability, and for minimizing environmental degradation. Additional research needs to be undertaken to examine the adoption process for not only successful adoption of technology, but also to solve the issues associated with the technology adoption. Further, right extension approaches and advisory services for the farmers interested in PDF needs to be undertaken for its effective application under different socio-economic and ecological conditions.


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RATHOD, P. K., & DIXIT, S. (2021). Precision dairy farming: Opportunities and challenges for India. The Indian Journal of Animal Sciences, 90(8), 1083-1094.