Track services

Gujarat: Cows as telecom subscribers? Digital belts to track their fitness | News from Vadodara

Image used for representational purposes only

VADODARA/ANAND: Kamlesh Pandya, a dairy farmer from Shili village in the Umreth taluka of Anand, knows a day or two in advance when one of his cows will fall ill. Israeli tech helps dairy farmers in India’s birthplace of milk Anand monitor the health of their animals in advance.
Like the fitness bands or trackers that are all the rage among health freaks these days, the cows in Anand’s dairy area are fitted with digital belts that are strapped around their necks.
Based on cow movement, the smart belts alert owners and Amul Dairy’s dedicated call center in Anand if the cattle are at risk of becoming ill.
What else? Telecommunications service providers see a market in this segment as the belt relays information to farmers’ mobile phones. A few of them have already contacted Amul Dairy, which has set itself the goal of covering a lakh of animals in the next year.
“Usually, when you see a cow, you hardly realize that she is sick. But with this technology, I get an alert on my mobile phone if my cow is at risk of getting sick in the next few days. By checking the temperature , you realize they have a high temperature. That’s the biggest advantage of this technology. I can start providing them with treatment before they get sick and ensure their speedy recovery,” said Pandya, who runs dairy farm since 2008.
Telcos excited as Amul Dairy targets 1 lakh cattle
The biggest advantage is that farm owners receive a notification when their animals are in silent heat (sexually receptive). It ensures that the artificial insemination (AI) is carried out on time and the animal becomes pregnant without delay,
A dairy farmer suffers a loss of nearly Rs 15,000 per year if such silent heat cycles go undetected.
Amul Dairy’s Managing Director, Amit Vyas, said: “Like the fit-bits in your hands help you know the number of steps or the pulse, these digital belts/trackers help us know if the animal eats and drinks correctly, whether it moves or not, it also contains data on when the animal became pregnant or had a miscarriage.
“Israeli technology has been modified to suit Indian conditions and environment as our dairy farmers’ land ownership is less. We are aiming for 10,000 digital belts of which 3,200 have been commissioned. Our goal is to cover a lakh of animals in a year,” Vyas said. .
Amul Dairy officials were surprised when a major telecommunications player recently approached them to strike a deal. “They see 10,000 consumers who will eventually grow into a one lakh subscriber base,” he said.
Currently, a dairy farmer spends Rs 5 per day per animal for a digital tracker attached to his animal’s neck. “Eventually, as volumes increase and we advance the technology, we want to reduce this cost to 1 rupee per day per animal,” he said.

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