Dairy Development Programme
Our commitment: create a new foundation for a sustainable dairy farm business in Trinidad and Tobago.
Nestlé’s Dairy Development Programme aims to create a new foundation for a sustainable dairy farm business in Trinidad and Tobago. It consists of four key projects:
The Forage & Feeding Project
A lack of good quality forage and affordable supplemental feed for dairy animals has led to poor farm efficiencies and limited growth of the Dairy Farm business in Trinidad and Tobago. Nestlé has sought to improve the quality of forage through two projects: the Mulato Grass Project and the Supplemental Feed Project. The Mulato Grass Project, initiated in 2006, helped farmers establish new pastures with this improved grass. A parallel Supplemental Feed Project undertaken in partnership with National Feed Mills established a 16% Dairy Ration specifically for suppliers to Nestlé’s factory. Together these two projects have increased cow productivity from 7.5kg/cow per day in 2010 to 10.3kg/cow per day in 2012, while significantly reducing the amount of feed used to produce 100kg of milk from 66kg to 44kg. The result is direct on-farm savings which have increased farmers’ productivity and profitability!
The Fertility Project
Nestlé’s Fertility Project aims to help farmers better manage the lactation and reproductive cycles of their animals. Nestlé collaborates with the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of the West Indies to provide farmers with improved heat detection capabilities, artificial insemination, early pregnancy diagnosis and other veterinary services to ensure reproductive health and year-round sustainable milk production. These interventions have been able to reduce the average calving interval from 514 days to 476 days!
The Health Project
Nestlé’s Health Project uses new electronic surveillance methods to monitor Sub-clinical Mastitis, which can reduce milk productivity by 10-15%. The aim of this project is to achieve a 50% reduction in the incidence of Sub-clinical Mastitis on farms in a 12-18 month period.
The Farm Management Project
Nestlé’s Agricultural Services Department works closely with farmers to implement improved farm management tools and techniques. We help farmers with data collection, analysis and feedback for short-and medium-term planning. Farmers receive a detailed monthly report highlighting Key Performance Indicators over a 4-month period, which shows them the true profitability of their operations and highlights high costs and inefficiencies. Nestlé also provides the farmers with on-farm charts and tables containing detailed information on each animal. This allows the farmer to track the progress of each animal through the various stages of lactation, and ensure that reproductive, health, and productivity issues are addressed immediately.