eficient rain is posing a threat to the lives of cattle too. Increasing number of farmers are selling the animals as they are unable to feed them owing to the exorbitant rise in price of fodder because of poor rainfall for more than a year.
The number of cows brought for sale to the famous Pudanchandhai weekly shanty in the district is increasing steadfastly in the last several months. Secretary of the Maatu Vyabarigal Sangam R. Eswaran who frequents the century-old-shanty told The Hindu that about 700 cattle (cows, oxen, and calves) were brought for sale every Tuesday.
“It has increased to 1,500 in the last four months as more farmers are becoming unable to maintain them,” he added.
Traders admitted that about 80 per cent of the animals that are now bought at the Tuesday-market are for meat. “Due to the increasing demand for beef we are able to sell all the cows despite the heavy increase in the animals brought for sale. Kerala is still the biggest market for beef while the demand is on the rise in Tamil Nadu too,” say traders.
E. Sadasivam, a leading trader and president of the association, said that farmers are ready to sell the cows for a very less price as they feared that they would have to spend more for feeding the animals — if they want to retain them. “Buffalos sold for Rs. 30,000 are now quoting between Rs. 14,000 and Rs. 17,000,” he said.
Even this amount will not reach farmers as most of the sales is carried out through middlemen. Cows that are just six years old fetches Rs. 4,500 to Rs. 6,000 depending on the quantity of meat that could be extracted.
Subject Matter Specialist in the field of Animal Sciences, Krishi Vigyan Kendra here, K. Senthilkumar said that usually these were reared for up to 10 years during which they yielded three to five calves.
Head and Project Coordinator of the Kendra B. Mohan said that the price of 30 kg of dry fodder that was sold for Rs. 250 last year has doubled to Rs. 500. The price of green fodder and concentrate feed too have gone up drastically because of the drought.“Many farmers who owned four cows have sold three. Farmers can avoid selling their cattle for very less prices by following some simple measures during the dry season,” he added. Farmers can get free guidance from the Kendra over phone at 04286-266244, 266345, or 266650.
From 700, the number of cattle sold has increased to 1,500