Farmers say hurray for Murrah buffaloes from Haryana

Farmers say hurray for Murrah buffaloes from Haryana

Farmers say hurray for Murrah buffaloes from Haryana

Roop Singh of Sewar panchayat samiti in Bharatpur district is a contented man. Only a couple of years ago, this small farmer struggled to make both ends meet. Now, he earns enough income not only to support the family of six but also give a good education to his children.

Roop Singh was willing to take risk and it seems to be reaping dividends. He went in for cross-breeding of his buffaloes with the high-yielding Murrah breed. It clicked.

It all started with the government scheme to supply Murrah bulls in some panchayat samitis in the district as a part of the initiative to augment the milk production. He also went for the scheme and it did wonders for his family.

Another farmer Fate Singh Gujjar says he has two milking Murrah buffaloes and they now earn him about Rs 1,000 per day. “Earlier, what I earned was not enough to feed the cattle and I had to depend on the meagre agriculture income to support my family. Today, I am not only earning sufficient income to support my family but also my needs for lighting and fuel requirement of my house are taken care of,” he says.

With a little help from a local NGO, he set up a bio-gas unit at his house, which supplies gas to light up his house and cooking. Though apprehensive to begin with, the decision has proved to be a boon for him and his family.

Despite Rajasthan accounting for the largest number of cattle population in the country and animal husbandry being the second major income source of the people after the agriculture, it was not contributing for boosting milk production as local breeds yield very little.

They were putting huge pressure on the natural resources like fodder and water, especially in a state prone to drought conditions. As a part of an important initiative to improve the breeds of buffaloes in Bharatpur district, initially 65 Murrah bulls were brought from neighbouring Haryana and handed over to cattle-breeders in villages.

Subsidy was provided by the Rajasthan Livestock Development Board for improving the capacity of buffaloes to give milk and augmenting the income of the rural population.

The scheme envisages to have more Murrah buffaloes through natural breeding over a period of time. Following in the footsteps of Haryana, Bharatpur is set to become the first Murrah district in Rajasthan. Besides supplying milk to local dairies, some buffalo owners have found market for their product in Delhi and Jaipur and they earn more money also.

The dairy owners prefer buffalo milk over cow’s because of high content of fat, which helps in production of good cotta­ge cheese (paneer), which is in great demand in the northern part of the country. The Rajasthan Livestock Development Board had sanctioned a subsidy of Rs 14.80 lakhs for purchasing 74 Murrah bulls, with the provision for Rs 20,000 as subsidy for each bull and the payment of the remainder by the beneficiaries.

Under the scheme, cattle-breeders, mostly living in Kumher and Sewar Panchayat Samitis, have got the bulls, whose market value ranged between Rs 25,000 and Rs 35,000.

A local organisation has helped the farmers in purchasing bulls from Haryana. A committee headed by Dr L C Agrawal, Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry Department, was appointed for purchasing the bulls. Members of the committee and cattle-rearers went to
Rohtak in Haryana, where they purcha­sed the bulls of their choice and those registered by the Deputy Director, Central Herd Registration Scheme.

Replacement for local breed

Programme In-Charge J P Singh said that the arrangements for travel and stay of cattle-breeders were made by the local organisation. The Murrah breed delivers every year and efforts have been set in motion for replacement of local breed with Murrah buffaloes.

A Murrah buffalo gives an average of 12 to 15 litres of milk every day, which is more than twice the local buffalo’s output. The owners of Murrah bulls will also get an additional income of Rs 4,000 to Rs. 5,000 every month by sending them for natural breeding in their villages.
Singh pointed out that a close observation of the animal husbandry activities in Rohtak district had revealed that the cattle-breeders there pay more attention to maintenance and feeding of the livestock. Murrah buffaloes in Haryana give 2,000 to 3,000 litres of milk without any difficulty in a season.

The male calves in Rohtak are not sold for meat but are raised up to the age of about two years, after which they are sold for good prices and they could range between Rs 25,000 and Rs 35,000 a bull.

When it comes to Murrah breed, it is all the more lucrative. Because of the name, there is always demand for Murrah bulls from different parts of the country. Each bull is sold in the range of Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh depending on their pedigree. A cattle-breeder can augment his income not only by selling milk, but also by marketing a couple of buffaloes.

Singh pointed out that the initiative had been widely appreciated by the rural folk in Bharatpur district. Against the subsidy provided for 74 bulls this year, 65 have been purchased so far and the cattle-breeders hope that Bharatpur would soon emerge as the first Murrah district of Rajasthan along the lines of Haryana.

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