The Punjab Government will set up clusters of desi cows to promote indigenous breeds like ‘sahiwal’ and ‘rathi’.

Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal on Tuesday asked the animal husbandry and dairy development departments to take joint initiative in this regard, besides exhorting the horticulture department to establish vegetables and fruits clusters.

Task force proposal

Mr Badal took the decision while reviewing recommendations of a task force on agriculture, an official spokesman said.

He asked the departments to make concerted efforts for setting up of clusters of desi cows through cooperative milk societies. A pilot project would be launched soon in Fazilka and Abohar and subsequently these clusters would be replicated in other parts of the State depending upon its success.

This move has been initiated to preserve, conserve and promote desi cow breeds, which are capable of producing quality milk and adapt to climatic conditions in the State, the spokesman said.

Dairy Farmers in Punjab
               Dairy Farmers in Punjab

Moreover, these breeds give more lactation compared with exotic breeds and their feed conversion ratio was far more than the exotic kind, he said.

Besides, the quality of desi cow milk was very high as it was more nutritious and fetched higher price. The milk of indigenous cows is sold at Rs 60-65 per kg and desi ghee at nearly Rs 700-750 per kg.

Pure desi cow milk and ghee would soon be launched in the market by the State’s premium milk marketing agency Verka, he said, adding the Chief Minister desired that dairy farmers be provided premium milk prices to motivate them to adopt these breeds.