ANDHRA PRADESH

Plan drawn up to upgrade cattle in RR district

J.S. Ifthekhar

Artificial insemination to ensure increased milk production

Hyderabad: Is a white revolution in the making in Ranga Reddy district? Yes, if the efforts to enhance milk production are any indication. The district authorities have drawn up an ambitious plan to upgrade the native cattle through artificial insemination (AI) to ensure increased milk production and improve overall genetic potential of the milch cattle.

Gainful employment

The Government of India has approved the Rs. 15 crore integrated dairy and sheep development project. This will provide constant and gainful employment through modern methods of dairying and sheep rearing. The project will be implemented over next five years.

Ranga Reddy district has 2,27,845 breedable bovine population. But of this only 20 per cent are high yielding cattle and the rest yield only one to two litres a day. In the coming years, all the low yielding cattle will be up graded through cross breeding. The district administration has proposed to add 36 more Pashu Mitra Mobile AI Centres to the existing 39. These centres will provide services to all the breedable bovine population at the doorstep.

Recurring drought

Agriculture in the district is rain dependent and also plagued by recurring drought. "In the next few years, this project will ensure sustainable income generation to rural poor," said Ranga Reddy Collector L. Premchandra Reddy.

Being the rural hinterland of the State capital, Ranga Redy has immense market for milk and meat in twin cities. But its share of milk and meat supply to Hyderabad is very poor. It supplies a mere 50,000 litres per day to the three chilling centres at Pargi, Mal and Tandur. Through other sources also milk pours in. But the city gets its major supply from Krishna, Guntur, East and West Godavari districts. The district authorities plan to reverse this trend by stepping up milk supply from Ranga Reddy.

"After ten year the district is expected to supply 25 lakh liters per day," according to M.V. Reddy, Additional Director, Animal Husbandry.

The major bottleneck in upgrading the livestock breed is the poor functioning of the Government veterinary hospitals. Of the 225 hospitals in the district, 25 are closed down for want of staff. There are 13 vacancies of veterinary doctors in the district. Moreover, these hospitals are not able to cover all the villages. On the other hand the mobile AI centres will cover a cluster of eight villages each.

The project also aims at setting up 12 bulk cooling centres to minimise wastage of milk. At present nearly 25 per cent of milk gets spoiled for want of proper storage. It is also planned to set up 12 chaff cutting units to avoid waste of fodder. Presently the wastage of dry fodder is as high as 60 per cent, it is said.