The PERIMILK study has a qualitative arm that seeks to establish greater understanding of the management systems and functioning of select dairy farms that lie in peri urban areas. It will profile routine activities performed by men and women during the course of wet and dry period; assess community’s perception about the role played by them in managing routine farm activities; understand the perception of farm owners about the value attached with livestock as an economic asset and sustainable livelihood option in present and future times; and identify major challenges faced by both men and women on the farms. It will also study the threat of infection, health seeking behaviour and animal related practices in the farms in terms of knowledge, sources of information, common practices and myths and misconceptions. Finally, it will identify positive deviant cases existing in the community relating to farm practices with good yield and minimal infection.
To understand the above mentioned gender dimension/s in peri urban dairy farms, the Qualitative Study Team undertook a pilot assessment in Ludhiana followed by a more detailed visit to Bangaluru’s peri urban dairy farms. They met with women dairy farmers, their families, village level cooperatives, veterinary officers and inspectors and field level functionaries. Apart from one-on-one interactions, they organized focus group discussions that probed the different gender dimensions related to peri urban dairy farming.
In Bangaluru, the team observed how milk was collected and deposited at the village cooperative and transported to a chilling plant before being handed over to the Karnataka Milk Federation for further processing. The village cooperative had several women members. They, along with with a Board, systematically managed the cooperative and ensured that the Federation made the payment on time. The money thus collected was deposited in the farmer’s account every fortnight, to everyone’s satisfaction.
The team will collate the findings and present their report in a few weeks. Some of these insights will guide the training teams in the intervention phase that is set to begin shortly.