The Fodder Block Making and Fodder Pelletting unit of Kerala Livestock Development Board (KLDB) started production at Dhoni farm here on Wednesday.

Managing Director of the KLDB Ani S. Das told The Hindu here on Thursday that “this is the first unit in the country to make cattle feed from husk waste and other materials put up at a cost of Rs.85.50 lakh.”

He said that the Board has gone for this modern fodder pelleting unit because “the projected gap between demand and supply of quality feed for the Livestock is alarming. This has posed a big challenge for making available quality feed for the bovines in the coming years. Kerala has been identified as a deficit State as far as feeds and fodder productions are concerned.”

Earlier cattle rearing in the State had been integrated with rice farming system to the advantage of both. But now the State is in deficit of more than 20 per cent dry matter as estimated by the State Planning Board.

Kerala is not producing even half the requirement of cattle feed concentrate. The price of compounded feed and feed ingredients is alarmingly increasing at short intervals making Livestock rearing uneconomical, he said.

Important conservation and concentration techniques used in the plant are block-making, pelletting of the roughages in combination with feed additives. These are ideal means of making available enriched roughage-feeds at reasonable cost as feed for the Livestock, Mr. Das said.

Palakkad region in the State is the major paddy growing area and large quantity of paddy straw is available. This straw can be collected and enriched and profitably converted into quality animal feed through fodder blocks and pelletting.

At the Dhoni Farm different grades of enriched fodder blocks and fodder pellets with different types of roughages and feed additives are produced.

The unit will profitably use the surplus roughages produced in the Livestock farms of the Board and roughages collected from the farmers.

By standardizing the production and procurement of roughages from different sources, the unit targets to produce about 10,000 MT of fodder blocks and 5,000 MT of fodder pellets annually.

The project will have an annual turn over of Rs.8 to Rs.10 crores on reaching the full capacity of production.

It has a capacity to produce around 30 MT of fodder blocks and 15 MT of fodder pellets per day.

The products will be sold to Dairy farmers through Dairy co-operatives and other suitable outlets, he said.

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