In an attempt to improve the milk-giving capacity of buffaloes and augment the income of the rural population in Rajasthan’s Bharatpur district, the State’s Livestock Development Board recently sanctioned a subsidy of Rs. 14.80 lakh for purchasing Murrah bulls and supplying them to cattle-breeders.

While the State government is providing Rs. 20,000 subsidy on for each bull, the remaining amount has to be paid by the beneficiaries. Till now, 65 of the 74 Murrah bulls sanctioned have been purchased from neighbouring Haryana.

The domestic buffaloes in the district will be replaced over the period with the Murrah buffaloes through natural breeding with the Murrah bulls. Replicating similar efforts undertaken in Haryana, Bharatpur is all set to become the first ‘Murrah district’ in Rajasthan. Cattle-breeders living mostly in Kumher and Sewar panchayat samitis have procured the bulls, whose market value ranges between Rs. 25,000-35,000 each.

A committee headed by the State’s Animal Husbandry Department’s Deputy Director L.C. Agrawal was appointed for purchasing the bulls. The committee members and breeders bought bulls of their choice as well as those registered under the Central Herd Registration Scheme from Rohtak in Haryana.

Bharatpur-based Lupin Human Welfare & Research Foundation helped the farmers in the purchase. According to Lupin Foundation’s programme in-charge J.P. Singh, the Murrah bulls can breed up to 13,000 calves every year.

A Murrah buffalo produces an average of 12-15 litres of milk a day, which is more than double of the desi buffalo’s output. The owners of Murrah bulls will also get an additional income of Rs. 4,000-5,000 per month by renting out their bulls for natural breeding.

A close observation of animal husbandry activities in Rohtak district had revealed that cattle-breeders there were paying more attention to proper upkeep and feeding of the livestock. Murrah buffaloes in Haryana produce 2,000-3,000 litres of milk in a season.

The male calves in Rohtak are not sold for meat but are raised up to the age of about two years, after which they are sold. Murrah buffaloes are also in heavy demand all over the country due to their high milk productivity and easily fetch up to Rs. one lakh each in the market.

The rural population in Bharatpur district has widely appreciated the initiative.