160 tonnes of fodder seed of SSG variety allotted to the district

The Animal Husbandry Department has vigorously been implementing the Accelerated Fodder Development Programme and Zero Disease Control Programme in Kadapa district as the government increased fodder seed allotment by 25 per cent and tripled the outlay for veterinary medicines to the district, Joint Director of Animal Husbandry S. Venkata Rao said on Wednesday.

Kadapa district recorded decline in cattle population by 10 per cent and that of goat and sheep by four per cent compared to the previous cattle census enumeration five years ago. The district, at present, has 18 lakh goat and sheep, five lakh buffalos and 1.60 lakh milch cows, the Joint Director told The Hindu. Though their number fell, the quality and disease-resistance among cattle grew, he added.

The government not only declared 2013 as Fodder Development Year, but allotted 160 metric tonnes of fodder seed of SSG variety as against the requirement of 120 metric tonnes to Kadapa district under Accelerated Fodder Seed Development Programme, Dr. Venkata Rao said. However, it reduced the fodder seed subsidy from cent per cent to 75 per cent this year. Nearly 420 MT of fodder seed was distributed since April this year, including 40 MT in the most drought-prone Rayachoti constituency.

Azolla culture, an alternative to fodder, was being promoted with 50 per cent subsidy in areas having lesser water availability and 127 units were sanctioned in the district with a unit cost of Rs. 10,000 to enable small families to meet fodder needs of two to three cattle at home. Chaff cutting units costing Rs. 27,300 were being encouraged in drought-hit areas with 50 per cent subsidy. Fodder was being supplied to registered gosalas (cow protection centres) having lands and tanks. Ram lamb units with unit cost of Rs. 1.60 lakh were being promoted under Jeevakranthi scheme, Dr. Venkata Rao said.

With tripling of the medical budget, 100 animal health camps were conducted and medicines distributed free of cost. A drive to deworm goats and sheep and detick milch cattle would be undertaken between June 16 and 30. Zero Control Programme has been effective since three years and medicines for foot and mouth disease were being given, he said. Seasonal vaccination was being done half-yearly resulting in decline in the outbreak of diseases among cattle.