Farmer group wins a long-awaited milk quality award
On 17 March 2020, Pak Dedi - chairperson of the Ciharus farmer group (Figure 1) - celebrated receiving third place in the milk quality awards against 32 other farmer groups in milk cooperative KPGS Cikajang, Garut.
“This prestigious award was achieved by the Ciharus group after decades of waiting. Thank you IndoDairy for facilitating our discussion group to increase our knowledge and skills which contributed to winning this seen award," said Pak Dedi.
The Ciharus group is one of the three groups that joined the IndoDairy Discussion Group (DG) activities in Garut held from April 2019 to February 2020. The discussion activities allowed farmers to exchange information and experiences, and gain new knowledge about improved management practices for their dairy businesses.
The quality of milk determines the price received by farmers in Garut. Milk quality assessment by KPGS include water density, protein and fat, as well as bacterial count. By joining the IndoDairy DG, farmers not only gained new knowledge about milk quality and hygiene but also practical ways to apply this on farm.
According to Pak Dedi, practices that have helped Ciharus farmers win the award for milk quality is through improved feeding practices such as providing 16% crude protein (CP) concentrates with good quality forage resulting in an increase in milk protein and fat components. Improvement to milk bacterial counts have been seen as a result of adopting practices such as teat-dipping, checking for sub-clinical mastitis with the Surf Test, and washing milking equipment using detergent and warm water. All of these practices were discussed and covered in their IndoDairy DG.
After seeing the improvement for their farmers the milk cooperative took the initiative to provide iodine and teat dippers to all their members (approx. 1,500 farmers) to encourage teat dipping and improve overall milk quality.