NLF in global magazine on Antibiotic Reduction

NEW STRATEGY TO REDUCE ANTIBIOTICS IN DAIRY FARMING is our recent publication in the December  MISSET special issue entitled Antibiotic Reduction – Embracing the Challenge. It is a general description of the objectives,activities and outcomes of the NLF work in both smallholder dairy farming (India, Ethiopia and Uganda), and large scale dairy farming in the Netherlands.

For full article: READ HERE

New video on Calcium Deficiency in Dairy Cows

The collaboration between NLF and Agro-Eco is bearing its first fruits, with a new video on Calcium Deficiency in Dairy Cows. It presents numerous practical possibilities of how to prevent ‘milk fever’ in dairy cows under smallholder conditions, taking Indian dairy farmers as an example.

Milk fever is one of the common cattle diseases amongst high producing cross-bred dairy cows, and can easily lead to the death of the cow. Meanwhile, it is not common amongst local breed cattle. Therefore the knowledge from this video is especially crucial for those smallholder farmers who are starting to produce milk with crossbred dairy cattle.

Watch the video here.

Succes with NLF approach in Ethiopia

During the 2-day conference on Dairy Sector Transformationin Addis Ababa, organized by the Ethiopian Society of Animal Production (ESAP), the worldwide results of the Natural Livestock Farming approach were presented with experiences from India, Ethiopia, Uganda and The Netherlands. See NLF presentation at ESAP dairy conference

This gained international interest, especfially because of the possibility of a win-win-win-win, in terms of reduced antibiotic use as well as improved milk quality, milk quantity, farm income and environment. ESAP and the NLF Foundation are now requested to upscale the approach amongst Ethiopian smallholder farmers.

During the field visit to the dairy farmers in Debre Zeit that participated in the NLF pilot between 2018-2020, it became clear that farmers have embraced two major practices: using herbal recipes for five major cattle diseases including mastitis, and improvements in calf management.

This farmer proudly demonstrates the Aloe Vera plants in het homestead, used for mastitis treatment of her dairy cows. Her calf mortality is now reduced to zero!

Report of Nature Based Solutions; Herbs for dairy health in India and the Netherlands

In what way has the work on Herbs for Cattle Health developed in both India and the Netherlands over the past 5 years? During the webinar on 21st of October 2021 dairy farmers and veterinarians from both countries shared their experiences, and were inspired by the way they can learn from each other and improve cattle health through the use of herbs. See Full report seminar_Nature Based Solutions

In small scale dairy farming system in India this work has focused on Ethno-Veterinary medicine (see factsheet below)

In the large scale dairy farming system in the Netherlands this work has focused on herbs-rich grasslands (see factsheet below)

You can find the full PP presentations here:

Maria Groot – Wageningen Food Safety Research – Intro on Dairy Herbs project

Nair – TDU-Glohmsiwa-NLF India – Medicinal plants used in EVP

Ms Veda Panchmaveda – organic dairy farmer India 1 – Panchamveda Organic Farm and Dairy

Ms. Poongodi – organic dairy farmer India 2 – Mahizham organic farm

Ms. Laksmi Ottathaikkal – organic dairy farmer India 3 – Otthathaikkal farm 

Hans NijBijvank – NL veterinarian  – Biodiversity – Good for Cows?

Jan Paul Wagenaar – Researcher Louis Bolk Institute – Pasture Herbs: Developments in Dairy Farming

Deficient colostrum feeding crucial issue in dairy calf raising

The knowledge on adequate colostrum feeding of newborn calves is strikingly inadequate amongst smallholder dairy farmers worldwide. This was one of the main conclusions of the recent NLF webinar on natural calf management organized on 31st August 2021. Many farmers mistakenly believe that calf diarrhea is the result of colostrum feeding, rather than a way to prevent it. This finding has inspired AgroEco to start developing a learning video on this topic, for dairy farmers worldwide – which we will share soonest.

Please find the recording HERE


Welcome and intro on NLF strategy – Katrien van’t Hooft (NLF Foundation)

Calf management practices adoption – outcome of NLF pilot in Ethiopia – Daniel Temesgen (ESAP/NLF Ethiopia) 

The Healthy Dairy Calf management; effective calf management – Dr Ana Catharina Berge

Herbal remedies for common calf diseases – Prof. Natasan Punniamurthy (GLOHMSIWA/NLF India

31st of August 2021, NLF webinar on: Natural Ways of Dairy Calf Raising

Disease and mortality of young calves is one of the major issues for dairy farmers worldwide, and cause of low farm productivity. Moreover it is reason for high antibiotic use. How can this be improved? How to control calf diarrhea in a natural way? Find out in this third NLF seminar with several outstanding experts!

Tuesday August 31st, TIME: 

  • Europe (CET): 10.30 AM – 12.30 PM
  • India: 2 PM – 4 PM
  • East Africa: 11.30 AM – 1.30 PM


Welcome and intro on NLF 5-layer strategy – Katrien van’t Hooft (NLF Foundation)

Outcome of pilot NLF 5-layer strategy in smallholder dairy farming in Ethiopia – Daniel Temesgen (ESAP/ NLF Ethiopia)

The Healthy Dairy Calf: effective calf management during the first 6 months – Dr. Ana Catharina Berge (Berge Veterinary Consulting)

Herbal remedies for common calf diseases – Prof. Natasan Punniamurthy (GLOHMSIWA – NLF India)


Two NLF posters for conference Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Animals

Between June 7-9 2021 the International Conference on Responsible Use of Antibiotics in Animals is organized by the CGIAR - Anti Microbial Resistance hub. As NLF we have developed two posters:

  1. Strategic international collaboration for reduction of antibiotic use in dairy farming - with info on the results of NLF in India and the Netherlands
  2. Improving cattle health and reducing antibiotic use in 'Healthy Cattle' project in Ethiopia - with info of the pilot with the NLF 5-layer strategy in two peri-urban dairy communities in Ethiopia

See full posters below

Student research on herbal remedies for parasite control

Two groups of international students from Wageningen University have collaborated with NLF in the Netherlands to review literature and interview experts on herbal remedies for parasite control as part of the their MSc program on Academic Consultancy Training (ACT).

The first group has focused on two types of internal parasites:  Faciola Hepatica (or Liver Fluke) in ruminants and Heamonchus Contortus (or Barbers pole worm) in sheep. The second group has focused on external parasites.

For a brief overview - see the PP presentations:

PP natural remedies against internal parasites 

PP natural remedies against external parasites 

For the full reports, see:

ACT report team  Internal Parasites (May 2021)

ACT report team external Parasites (May 2021)


NLF webinar 15 April 2021: Natural Approaches to Mastitis Control

The second international webinar organised by Natural Livestock Farming Foundation was in coordination with Trans Disciplinary University (TDU) and Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF), both from India. The focus was on natural approaches to mastitis control - with the main aim to improve cattle health and reduce the use of antibiotics. For the interesting results of this webinar: see the the PP of the 4 speakers!

  1. Prof. Punniamurthy (GLOHMSIWA/NLF-India): farmer Friendly ethno-veteruinary formulations for mastitis control as an alternative to antibiotics 
  2. Dr. A.V. Harikumar (National Dairy Development Board - NDDB): Experiences and results from herbal mastitis control in Indian smallholder dairy
  3. Dr. Krishna Reddy (Karnataka Milk Federation): Experience with Homeopathy treatment for mastitis control
  4. Dr. Erna Post (Vet. Practice Olst-Wijhe/NLF Netherlands): Experiences with 20 years of mastitis control in larges scale dairy farming in the Netherlands 


Successful Natural Livestock Farming webinar - 15 December 2020

On Tuesday 15 December we celebrated our first international webinar entitled: "Natural Livestock Farming: an approach to reduce the use of anti-microbials and towards Sustainable Dairy Farming." Under the able guidance of moderator Unnikrishnan Payyappalli the innovative approach in dairy farming based on the NLF 5-layer strategy was presented. Activities are now being implemented in the four countries India, Ethiopia, Netherlands and Uganda. This approach includes milk quality control, ethnoveterinary medicine, strategic use of local breeds, animal management improvements and local marketing.

In the presentations the latest experiences and achievements were highlighted, which lead to our common goal: healthy animals - healthy people - healthy environment. Since 2015 the NLF community in the four countries has together trained over 30.000 farmers and 2000 vets on ethnovet practices and safe use of herbal products. We have proof that this leads to not only to improved cattle health and improved milk quality, but also to improved farm income, local food supply and biodiversity. In other words: improved resilience. As a result, the adoption of ethno-veterinary medicine and other elements of the NLF concept is now growing rapidly.

Speakers during the webinar

  1. Katrien van't Hooft - NLF approach, strategy and background - see presentation
  2. M.N.B. Nair - NLF experiences in India 
  3. Getachew Gebru - NLF experiences in Ethiopia
  4. Gerdien Kleijer - NLF experiences in the Netherlands
  5. Elizabeth Katushabe - NLF experiences in Uganda

If you want to know more about our work, become part of our network, or wish to receive the country presentations, please contact

Recording of the webinar:

Recording details: 

0.00 - 3.30 : Welcome and Introduction by Dr Unnikrishnan Pappayyali
4.00 - 20.00 : General NLF presentation Katrien van't Hooft
20.50 - 37.00 : NLF Ethiopia - Getachew Gebru
39.00 - 1.01.00 : NLF India - M.N.B. Nair
1.03.30 - 1.29.00 : NLF Netherlands - Gerdien Kleijer
1.32.00 - 1.52.00 : NLF Uganda - Elizabeth Katushabe