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Positive outlook as dairy farming grows in the country

Repeka Nasiko
Monday, January 06, 2014

AS the dairy farming industry continues to grow in the Western Division, registered dairy farmers like Pravin Sen could be setting a new trend for other farmers to follow.

Living in the outskirts of Naikabula in Lautoka, Mr Sen, 38, has 20 cattle on his farm that produce about 60 litres of fresh milk daily.

He said while dairy farming was still a fairly new concept in the Western Division, his family had been raising cattle for commercial use for the past 70 years.

"My grandfather and my father were dairy farmers and now I am running the business," he said.

"We used to have a sugarcane farm but we left that and became full time dairy farmers."

Mr Sen said many new farmers in his area had switched to cattle farming last year.

"It does not require a lot of manual labour like sugarcane farming. All you have to do is see that the cattle are healthy and being fed the right kind of food to produce good milk."

Mr Sen said assistance from government became more pronounced last year.

"They built a milking shed for my farm and contracted my farm along with other farmers in my area to deliver milk to the chilling centre in Ba."

The Naikabula resident said he was paid 80 cents for every litre of milk delivered to the chilling centre.

Deputy director of agriculture Uraia Waibuta said there was great potential for dairy farming in the west. "We want to grow the industry and for that we are looking at the West," he said.

"We received very positive production yields when we opened the chilling centre in Ba and registered farmers in Ba and Nadi.

"Now we have a lot of farmers coming in from Lautoka and we hope to register more farmers this year."

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