Govt. to supply silage, fodder to farmers to face summer

Cattle camps to be held in 257 drought-hit mandals

Published - April 20, 2019 12:43 am IST - VIJAYAWADA

In view of the prevailing drought in some parts of the State, the Animal Husbandry department is making arrangements to supply silage, concentrate feed, green and dry fodder as summer makes cattle rears and farmers jittery in view of the shortage of the fodder, be it green or dry.

The department has chalked out plans to supply one lakh metric tonnes (LMTs) of silage and 0.50 LMTs of green and dry fodder to farmers and cattle rearers. The aim is to ensure that the fodder is available 24x7 and deliver it on the doorsteps of farmers.

The fodder requirements of each village has been uploaded to the server by the Pasumitra agents who work on a commission basis. On receiving the information on the mobile app, the officials concerned will make arrangements accordingly. The government supplies the fodder at a subsidised price of ₹2 a kg, say officials.

When contacted, Secretary (Animal Husbandry, Dairy Development and Fisheries) B. Sreedhar says the government has been making all arrangements to mitigate the problem. Acute shortage of fodder is seen in Anantapur and some other districts. Andhra Pradesh is the first State in the country to supply silage to farmers. It is aimed at improving milk production during the summer, he says.

Director (Animal Husbandry) G. Somasekharam says that cattle camps would be organised in 257 drought-hit mandals in eight districts. Also, silage, Total Mixed Ration (TMR), concentrate feed, and green/dry fodder will be supplied this summer. The budget will be more than ₹100 crore. In addition, two water troughs will be made available for providing daily water to animals during summer, he says.

Other measures

‘Oorura pasugrasa kshetram’ (fodder field in every village), supply of fodder seed and supply of silage are some of the other initiatives, says Deputy Director (AH) Abraham Lincoln.

The department has already supplied 4,598 MTs of fodder seed in the State and also 1,709.20 MTs of seed in drought-hit areas.

To minimise the wastage of fodder, chaff cutters have been distributed to farmers with a subsidy of 75%, he says.

The State has rich livestock resources – 47.16 lakh cattle, 64.63 lakh buffaloes, 135.59 lakh sheep and 44.96 lakh goats – which are all dependant on fodder resources for their survival and production.

These animals when converted into cattle units are projected as 141.87 lakh units as per norms and require 255.36 LMT (Lakh metric tonne) of dry fodder per annum for maintenance alone and there will be a 20% shortage of dry fodder in the State at any given point of time.

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