Livestock breeder selected for UN conference to be held in Kenya
In recognition of services in preserving genetically pure Kangayam cattle breed and its grazing land-habitat, Kuttapalaya Sivasenaapathy Muralidhara Karthikeya (40) from Tirupur district has been invited by Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations for its international multi-stakeholder conference in Kenya.
He was among four livestock breeders who were selected from India with the other three being involved in breeding and conservation of Kulu sheep, native camels and Deccani sheep breed.
The meet, to be held at International Livestock Research Institute at Nairobi from January 21 to 25, would be a platform for delegates from across the globe to deliberate how to preserve various native animal breeds and the eco-system that helps breed them.
Karthikeya Sivasenaapathy told The Hindu that he would be presenting on the threats faced to grazing land habitat of Kangayam cattle breed called as ‘Korangadu’, which comprises 29 typical trees and shrubs.
“From over 1.5 lakh hectares in the late 1970s, the expanse of Korangadu in the ‘in-situ’ Kangayam tract spread over Tirupur, Karur, Erode, Namakkal and Dindigul districts has now come down to almost 50,000 hectares,” Mr. Karthikeya, who is also the managing trustee of Senaapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation, said.
According to him, the presence of the ‘species-specific’ Korangadu is extremely important in the conservation of genetically pure Kangayam cattle. The decrease in the area was attributed to pollution in rivers flowing near the tract, lack of awareness among different stakeholders of Korangadu and conversion of such grazing lands for real estate purposes. “There is also a need to classify Korangadu as grazing land by revenue officials who presently put such areas as waste lands,” Mr. Karthikeya pointed out.
The plenary discussions at the conference, according to him, will help him bring the much needed global attention to the species (i.e. Kangayam cattle breed).