Kaval awaits govt patronage

The Amruth Mahal variety of cattle are not just a distinct kind of indigenous variety but they are also a status symbol for the farmers.

Kaval was once patronised by the royal families including the Vijayanagar emperors, the Wodeyars and Tipu Sultan. However, now, they are eagerly waiting for a patronage from the government, owing to lack of maintenance. 

Known for their speed, strength, the bulls were used in frontline defence operations like transportation of heavy army equipment on rough roads by the rulers.

Amruth Mahal Variety Cattle Breeding Centre at Basoor in Kadur taluk has been declared as bio reserve range. The Western Ghats Task Force had recommended to the government to conduct a survey on all the Amruth Mahal Kavals in the district and across the State and decalre it as a bio reserve range. However, the proposal is gathering dust.

Owing to shortage of staff, the centre is waiting for a facelift. Even there is no staff to remove cowdung from the cow shed, to graze the cattle and there are no cowherds to take the cattle for grazing. Emmedoddi, Ayyanakere, and Devanoor Amruth Mahal Kavals have been encroached. The government has handed over Kavals to the department of animal husbandry to maintain and has not turned its head to set right the anomalies, said farmers.

Ajjampura Amruth Mahal Breeding Centre has failed to make use of the available facilities. The cowshed has been turned into a garbage pit. As bovines sleep on it, the colour of cattle too has changed.

There are only 1317 cattle in Ajjampura, Habbanaghatta, Basoor, Lingadahalli, Chikkaemmiganoor, Ramagiri and Birur Kavals. As many as 62 bovines in Birur Centre are used for breeding. There is a great demand for the indigenous variety of bovines.

There are 63 Amruth Mahal Kavals in the state including 13 in Chikmagalur. The headquarters of these Kavals in Ajjampura. There is an alleged conspiracy to shift the headquarters from Ajjampura to Birur. “Lack of interest of the officials and administrative failure has pushed the Kaval to this state of affair,” said Manohar of Tiptur, who has been making a study on Amruth Mahal Kaval.

There are no permanent employees in the Kaval to take care of the cattle. As many as 33 staff have been hired on temporary basis. Cowherds are not paid monthly salary for the last four to five months, it is said.

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