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Introduction

Indian dairy sector is suffering from non availability of qualitative and quantitative data and strong decision support system about animal management at field level due to which planners and managers face difficulties in formulating policies and making effective decisions in time.

The present project proposal addresses three categories of herds – organized herds (as in dairy farms), unorganized herds (as in villages with several one-animal-one-farmer setups) and nomadic herds. Major problems prevailing in the field both at organized dairy farms as well as unorganized sector are identification of animals, postpartum heat detection, monitoring health and comfort level of animals, automation of milking process, segregation of animals based on health and production, shelter management etc. which causes great losses in terms of livestock, milk production and money to dairy farmers.

Quantitative and qualitative data is required on vital parameters of animals and surrounding ambient to draw any conclusion for better management of animals. For example for heat detection, the animal has to be observed continuously at regular interval about its position, movement, activities, body temperature etc. To acquire such huge and complex data flawlessly is very difficult (if not impossible) besides being a costly affair through manual system.

As the proposed project is designed to find solutions to the above problems by providing mechanism for online data acquisition through wireless sensor networks and develop knowledge based decision support system (DSS) thereby reducing monetary losses to the negligible level, the project assumes great importance in the context of Indian dairy sector/ agriculture.

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