Cattle fairs will create better awareness of native breeds and current trends in animal husbandry. The absence of such fairs forces breeders to get cattle from other States.
The village P. Chellandipalayam, near Pallapalayam in Karur district of Tamil Nadu, houses a unique cattle breeding centre, albeit on a small scale. C. Ganesan runs this centre with a passion to replace hybrid cows with native breeds. One can see a variety of cows — Tharparkar, Rajasthan, Sahiwal, Gyr, Kankrej and Rathi — rubbing shoulders, with the native Kangeyam enjoying a pride of place.
“I am not running this farm for profit. I breed cattle in the interest of farmers. My intention is to raise pure native breeds that will be disease-resistant and yield milk as mucc as hybrids,” says Mr. Ganesan. About 20 years back, he bought cattle for ploughing and to provide manure for his farm. Slowly, his attention turned towards breeding and he started to buy bulls from government farms like the Central Cattle Breeding Farm, Avadi. A Jersey cow was procured from Udhagamandalam. From 1995, he cross-bred 70 to 80 animals, till the arrival of two Tharparkar cows. For two generations, Mr. Ganesan achieved good yield with each cow providing 10 litres of milk a day. Two Rajasthan bulls joined the flock in 2005 and simultaneously the farm got quality semen from BAIF Development Research Foundation, Pune, National Dairy Development Board and Dhoni farm of the Kerala Livestock Development Board. By culling out cross breeds and weak animals, he wants to rear cent per cent native breeds. The culled out animals are sent to gosalas. Mr. Ganesan, who has by now become a mobile reference for cattle breeding, feels that cost of transportation of original breeds works out higher than the cost of actual breeding. At present, the farm has 65 cows, bulls and buffaloes, besides a few heads of Thalacherry goat. Two issues that hamper progress in cattle breeding in this part of the country, according to him, are the dearth of quality semen and absence of cattle shows as in north India. “The government should take steps to supply quality semen through veterinary hospitals as breeding happens mostly through artificial insemination,” he says. Cattle fairs will create better awareness of native breeds and current trends in animal husbandry. The absence of such fairs forces breeders to get cattle from other States by spending more on transportation.