In an attempt to promote innovations in livestock farming and increase milk production, the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development has launched an initiative in the district to facilitate adoption of new technologies by farmers with the help of research institutions.
“Under the project, we are training the farmers involved in cattle rearing/dairy activities, and rearing of sheep/goat, as well as country fowl in batches of 20 to 30 persons on latest farming technologies. They will also be taken for exposure visits to progressive farms with NABARD bearing the cost of exposure visits/training,” NABARD Assistant General Manager V.S. Sriram told The Hindu .
For imparting technical skills to the farmers and make them adapt to the new technologies, NABARD liaisons with Veterinary University Training and Research Centre in Tirupur, an unit under Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, which was identified as ‘technology provider’.
Mr. Sriram said that as part of the training, the farmers would be taught the methods to cultivate Azolla, a floating fern that resembles algae, for usage as a livestock feed, and methods to preserve green fodder for longer durations apart from helping the farmers to make right choice of animals/fowls for rearing.
“The hallmark of the project is that apart from just imparting and demonstrating the technologies to farmers on Azolla cultivation, they will be told the real benefits of using feeds like Azolla, which is rich in proteins, minerals like calcium and magnesium and essential amino acids so as enthuse them to practise what learnt during technical sessions,” the Assistant General Manager added.
Another major component conceptualised under the project would be the training on ‘clean milk production’ by which how milk should be handled using hygienic methods and thereby, increase the shelf life of milk.
Preparations of herbal medicines for cattle and poultry and how paddy straw could be enriched using urea would also be disseminated to the farmers during the course of the project.