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  • Vinod Ahuja
    Livestock Policy Officer
    FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific Bangkok, Thailand [email protected]
  • Harinder Makkar
    Animal Production Officer
    FAO HQ Viale delle Terme di Caracalla
    00153 Rome, Italy
    Tel: +39 06 570 54944
  • [email protected]


8 Golden rules for sustainable development of dairy


FAO Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific, under the Smallholder Dairy Development Project
in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand (SDDP), jointly with Animal Production and Health Division of FAO developed and disseminated the “Golden Rules for Smallholder Dairy Farming in the tropics”.


The Golden Rules comprise eight short, simple, illustrated and easy to understand factsheets with the objective of improving the health, husbandry and feeding management of dairy cattle of dairy farmers in the tropics. These factsheets are designed mainly for farmers and extension workers and are used not only in Asia but also in other continents. The users have found the Golden Rules easy to understand and apply due to their pictorial presentation.


The Golden Rules were printed in four languages: English, Thai, Bangla and Myanmar; and distributed to more than 15 000 smallholder dairy farmers in Bangladesh, Myanmar and Thailand. These factsheets were also used and distributed on other occasions such as training programmes and exhibitions. In Myanmar, a local livestock magazine published “Golden Rules” to increase exposure and to reach to the national audience.

The eight golden rules are:

  1. Golden rules of calf rearing demonstrating simple ways to ensure healthy calf birth, feeding of first milk to new born calf, feeding concentrate to young calf, needs for clean water and good ventilation, and calf identification.
  2. Golden rules for rearing weaned heifers illustrating feeding requirement and importance of balance feed for young calf, proper feeding of roughage and concentrate feeds, water requirement, and good heifer management
  3. Golden rules for feeding milking cows to educate farmers about feed and water requirement of lactating cows, importance and requirement of good quality forages, concentrate supplementation, performance of healthy cows, detection of cows’ diet condition through manure consistency, feed intake, milk yield,  and cow rumination monitoring.
  4. Golden rules for breeding adult cows to enhance farmers’ knowledge about cow’s health and reproductive performance, best time for insemination, sign of heat and heat detection skill, record keeping, as well as importance of animal culling to improve reproductive performance.   
  5. Golden rules looking after the herd’s animal health to further farmers skills on keeping animal healthy i.e. disease prevention planning, detection of sick animal at early stage,  important husbandry skills on caring  sick animals, preparation of herd health programme to prevent and control disease. 
  6. Golden rules for heat stress management to educate farmers about heat stress and negative consequences of heat stress on milk productivity, fertility and health condition of animals, and strategies for coping with heat stress.
  7. Golden rules for housing dairy stock to inform farmers about importance and impacts of housing on cows’ health and productivity, disadvantages of improper manure management, and benefits of cow comfort.
  8. Golden rules for producing quality milk to educate farmers about the negative impacts of poor quality milk on quality and shelf life of milk products, importance and effects of proper milking and milk handling on milk quality, and production of good quality milk including prevention of mastitis. 


The entire set of Golden rules can be downloaded from www.dairyasia.org under information resources/manual-and-dairy-extension-materials.