Rains help fend off fodder scarcity

It was feared that drought would leave the livestock severely malnourished

 
Farmers relieved as there is enough fodder for their livestock. Dh PhotoIt was expected that the drought situation would create a shortage of fodder in Kolar district, which is known for livestock rearing in the State. But the recent rains, which have filled in the ponds in the district, have cheered farmers in the region.

During the recent review of the district by the Central drought assessment team, it was feared that the 2.42 lakh cows, 50,000 buffalos, 36,000 sheep and 88,000 goats in the district would be malnourished due to the severe shortage of fodder and also due to the lack of money to acquire fodder.

According to the Department of Animal Husbandry, farmers in the region have stocked about 1,50,314 tonnes of fodder which would last them for four months. In addition, the rains will ensure that there is no shortage of fodder even after the four months, the department predicted.

The department had prepared a plan for implementation if the dry weather had persisted for another eight months. According to the plan, Rs 7.25 crore was assigned as fodder relief. The relief fund included Rs 34 lakh for distributing fodder seed kits to farmers, Rs 25 lakh for setting up 125 veterinary units, Rs 2.66 crore for 7,300 landless farmers and Rs two crore for setting up 20 cattle sheds and 20 fodder banks across the district. The district administration had explained this to the Central team.

Even the farmers had expressed their worries to the team. However, the rains have changed the entire scenario. As per review meeting undertaken by the department officials, a  tonne of dry fodder costs Rs 500 - Rs 600, and a tonne of wet fodder costs Rs 250. “Had the drought situation persisted, these prices would have skyrocketed,” the officials said.

Post the rains, farmers have also undertaken the sowing of annual crops, “therefore meeting the fodder scarcity would not be a problem anymore,” officials remarked.

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