Special Correspondent

THANJAVUR: The Tamil Nadu Government has taken steps to improve 11 cattle farms in the State to increase livestock productivity, Minister for Animal Husbandry Geetha Jeevan said on Wednesday.

Talking to reporters at Ponnapur near here, she said the exotic cattle breeding farm at Eachankottai in the Orathanadu taluk in Thanjavur district, which plays an important role in artificial insemination by turning out two lakh frozen semen sticks a year, would be improved at a cost of Rs. 49 lakh.

Steps had been taken to improve the quality of the frozen semen.

The Government also allotted Rs. 24 lakh for raising fodder on the farm. Seeds had been sown. The training centre for livestock inspectors on the farm would be improved at a cost of Rs. 30 lakh. A total of 425 livestock inspectors would be trained at various places.

The Minister said that this year new veterinary dispensaries would be opened at 40 places, including at Cholapuram and Thazhakudi in Thanjavur district. A sum of Rs. 97 lakh had been allotted for constructing buildings for veterinary dispensaries in Thanjavur district and Rs. 98 lakh for Pudukottai district.

The dispensaries faced no drug scarcity and boasted of X-ray units. The Government had allotted Rs. 18 lakh for developing ethno-veterinary medicine with herbs at the training and extension centre of the Tamil Nadu Veterinary University at Thanjavur.

It had recently appointed 240 veterinary doctors. A total of 135 places were identified as having no veterinary doctors, though they had 10,000 cattle head.

Earlier, Ms. Geetha Jeevan inspected the veterinary dispensaries at Ammanpettai and Ponnapur, the veterinary sub-centre at Thurayundarkottai, the government farm at Orathanadu and the exotic cattle breeding farm at Eachankottai.