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ANIMAL HUSBANDRY PROGRAM

Agriculture is the predominant occupation, followed by cattle rearing. Babrala and Haldia has mainly buffaloes and cows whereas Mithapur also has large population of small animals such as goats & sheep. Livestock has special importance in areas having low agricultural income and poor resource-endowment. It provides alternative and stable income to the farmers. Livestock and their products provide direct cash income and the animals are the living assets for many farmers. Almost all household in this region own at least a pair of cattle

Purpose

TCSRD started the animal husbandry project in 1994 with the aim to improve the house hold income. The program targets three essential elements: improved health care that is available at the doorstep, improvement of breed quality and availability of quality fodder.

Various activities under this project are as follows

  • Animal Health care
  • Breed improvement
  • Green fodder distribution
  • Cattle insurance.
Animal Health care programs

Animal health care programs targets health care through vaccination drives, medical camps and availability of help at the doorstep.

Door to door check up service is provided to the cattle owners. Animals are examined and treated for seasonal diseases. TCSRD trains youth of the area to work as Para vets or Pashu Palak Mitras in order to provide health care at door step. These Pashu Palak Mitra provide first aid and also refer the animals to the govt. vets, in case of need.

Animal health camps are also held wherein proper counseling and medicines are provided by the expert team of doctors. Special care is taken to reduce sterility in the cattle through anti-sterility camps.

The area was facing high mortality rate of animals due to two prevalent diseases namely Haemorrhagic Septicaemia(HS) and Foot & Mouth disease(FMD). Thus regular vaccination camps are held for these diseases.

Breed Improvement Program

The breed improvement program targets purchase of animals of high quality and also cross breeding of local animals with high yielding breeds. The Murrah buffalo of Haryana is a high milk yielding breed. It gives milk as high as 16 litres as compared to 5-6 liters of the local buffalo breed. TCSRD motivates the small and marginal landless farmers to buy this breed of buffaloes. The expert team helps the famers in selection of the buffalo. TCSRD also provides Murrah breed bulls and cross breed cow to the farmers on interest free loan.

Green fodder distribution

Animals were generally fed with crop residue and little or no green fodder. Poor nutritional content of crop residue affected the health and milk production of animals. A new program was started to motivate farmers for growing green fodder for animals. Seed of improved varieties of fodder grass; Berseem (Trifolium alexendrium) are made available on subsidized rate to farmers.

Cattle Insurance

Cattle insurance is also done under this project in collaboration with TATA- AIG and United India Insurance Company of Lucknow.

Impact / Outcome

The intervention of vaccination program has changed the scenario of the area. Earlier about one animal died per household annually on an average but now such deaths are recorded in 3 to 4 years. Farmers feared to rear costly and high yielding breeds of animals. But at present every household in the area has 2 to 3 milk producing animals.

Animal health check up camps has reduced the rate of animals becoming sterile. Saving animals from being sterile has reduced the greater financial losses of farmers. There was reduction in rate of animals being culled because of sterility problem. Treatments of other diseases at very low charges have saved the medical expenses of farmers. In the year 2009-10, 1451 animals were examined and treated from 128 villages of Gunnour Tehsil.

Pashu Palak Mitra Training program has made the veterinary service easily available for the farmers. They charge for the treatment provided and it has become a source of income for these paravets. Farmers avail health services for animals easily at their home. It saves their time and expenses on other alternatives for the services.12 pashu palak have been trained who now provide service to 12 Naya Panchayats.

In 2009-10, 336 animals were treated from 32 villages through door to door service provided by pashu palak Mitras

Under breed improvement intervention introduction of murrah buffalo was one of the successful programs and had greater coverage in the area. It was started by replacing desi breed of buffalo with high milk yielding breed (Murrah) of buffalo in the area. Almost every household in the villages had 2 to 3 buffaloes for milk production. Now the beneficiaries of the program have at least one Murrah buffalo along with desi buffalo. Farmers are now able to sell more milk and generate higher income after this program was introduced. This year 80 buffaloes were bought under this program.

Similary cross breed cows has increased milk production which has increased their household income. It has reduced the dependence of farmers on others for fund during off season of milk production of buffaloes. 6 cross breed cows have been purchased by people of 2 villages. Apart from this 10 Murrah bulls were provided in 7 villages of Gunnour Tehsil for natural breeding with the local buffaloes.

As there was surplus of milk production TCSRD started this program of extension of Dairy program. There was no big dairy or market where these farmers could supply milk at reasonable price. The project undertook the linking of villages with a dairy. Farmers now get better price for milk. People have started rearing more animals for milk production. The impact of the program is so pronounced that almost whole village has started supplying milk to the milk collection centre.

Distribution of green fodder program has created wide spread awareness about cultivation of Berseem crop in the area as fodder for animals which has low cost of production. Increased fodder production has increased milk production by about one litre per animal on an average. During this year, 260 farmers participated in Berseem seed distribution program. Most of the beneficiaries were small and medium farmers from 5 villages around Babrala.

21 animals were insured from 4 villages this year.

Way Forward

The integrated animal husbandry program has been able to sensitize and motivate small and medium farmers to keep the high yielding variety breed of cow & buffaloes instead of local variety breed. It has helped in the increase in milk yield. In future, the program focus would be to establish artificial insemination centre, which would help in having more cross breed cattle.

There are plans to establish dairy with the help of Mother Dairy or Amul , so that more number of farmers are able to raise their income through milk production.

Animal Husbandry
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