With limewater, farmers increase milk yield in cows

HUBBALLI: Young farmers in Haveri district have come up with an innovative method to turn husbandry into a lucrative affair. They are administering limewater to their cattle, which keeps the oxen healthy, and results in a surge in the quantity of milk produced by cows.

This is part of the sustainable livelihoods for smallholder farmers’ programme introduced by the Initiative for Development Foundation (IDF) in June. It is being funded by the Paris-based Louis Dreyfus Foundation, which started the project in 2015.

Head of Farm Livelihood, IDF, Bengaluru, Srikanth S P told TOI that the initiative is aimed at empowering the rural community in combating the problems of climate change. “It will help improve farm income through a sustainable approach, including proper livestock practices.

This will also help in building people’s institution of farmers over a period of time to sustain the initiatives of the programme. Formation and nurturing of self-help groups, comprising farmers, will be used as a platform to promote the initiatives effectively and sustainable,” he said.

Pointing to the practice of administering limewater to cattle, project manager of IDF Haveri, Anand Chougala said it enhances milk productivity and reduces the cost of production.

Secretary of the dairy milk union at Arabgonda village, Parameshgouda Patil has managed to reap the rewards after adopting these initiatives. “The yield in milk has increased by 2 litres every day. Our cows are more hungry and consuming more fodder. Limewater has turned out to be a good appetizer for our cattle,” he said.

Yallava Talawar of Bannihalli too has benefited from the scheme. Not only are her cows yielding an additional litre of milk, she is also saving money otherwise spent on medicines for her animals. In Venkatapura tanda, Dileppa Lachappa Lamani said, “My oxen are stronger, since they are consuming more fodder. Their productivity has increased and I had to pay very little to achieve it.”