The College of Dairy Science and Technology, Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, has got an ad-hoc project on comparative economic evaluation of indigenous and cross breed cattle in Punjab.
The project will be funded by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research for two years with a total budget of Rs 30 lakh. Dr Inderpreet Kaur Kullar, principal Investigator of the project, said that in Punjab, the number of indigenous cattle fell from 28.3 lakh in 1987 to 3.63 lakh in 2012, while the number of cross bred cattle rose from 15.79 lakh in 1987 to 20.65 lakh in 2012.
As per the 2007 cattle census, population of some elite indigenous cattle in Punjab, 0.42 lakh (Sahiwal cows) and 2.02 lakh (Hariana cows), is less in comparison to cross-bred counterparts.
Sahiwal is an indigenous breed of cattle which thrives well in local environment and performs well in adverse climatic conditions as compared to cross-bred ones. Real economic worth of cattle species, whether indigenous or cross-bred, can be assessed only after all cost components, tangible and intangible, have been identified and suitably apportioned.
Kullar said indigenous cattle, particularly the elite Sahiwal, have to be preserved and protected at any cost and necessary economic valuation would help in creating due incentives for their adoption, restoration and substantial growth.
Dr Kullar said the project would determine the true economic worth of cattle. The disparity that exists between the realizable stream of profits from Sahiwal and cross-bred cattle over the economic life span of an animal will be clearly delineated, she added.