Man rears cows despite odds, reaps multiple benefits

Man rears cows despite odds, reaps multiple benefits

Lifelong Passion

Man rears cows despite odds, reaps multiple benefits

At a time when several farmers have stopped rearing cattle due fear of theft of the animals, here is a man who has been rearing cattle since his childhood at Meenakaliya in Panambur.

The theft of seven milking cows has not deterred Subrahmanya P Aithal from rearing cattle. Speaking to Deccan Herald, Aithal said love for cows has helped him to move ahead with dairy farming despite the theft of cows. At present, his cow shed has two milking cows and 22 calves, including those of the stolen cows.

“I spend my time in rearing these cows. Our family has been rearing cattle since my childhood. I used to go to school after feeding the cattle. Even today, I feed the cattle.I had over 10 milking cows and one buffalo till last year. But seven cows were stolen in daylight after they were left for grazing. I used to get 20 to 22 litres of milk per day earlier. After selling milk in the neighbourhood, I used to sell it to hotels. I complained to the police about the theft of cows, but I have not yet got justice even after a year,” he added.

“The milk I get now is sufficient for the family needs.I also give milk to those who come to help me in cleaning the cowshed,” he said.

He said high price of cattle feed is the major problem. “Even when the procurement price of milk is hiked, farmers do not any benefit as the firms that produce cattle feed increase the prices of the feed. In a city like Mangaluru, there is no place for grazing cattle. As a result, the owners have to purchase straw at higher prices. After the theft of cows, I don’t let the cows for grazing. Instead, I get left over vegetables from shandy market every week and I feed them cattle feed and straw,” he added.

Gobar gas unit

Cattle rearing has helped Aithal to set up a gobar gas unit. Instead of using LPG, his family now uses gobar gas. He said cow dung is the main ingredient in a gobar gas unit.

“The benefit of rearing cows is that it will ensure supply of milk for family consumption and for sale. The slurry from the gobar gas unit will serve as manure for plants,” he said.

“I installed gobar gas unit in 1995 and have been using it for cooking even to this day. In fact, I had spent Rs 10,000 for installing gobar gas in 1990s. Now, it will cost around Rs 80,000. By adding two baskets of cow dung and butter milk to the pit, the gas is supplied to the kitchen within a few hours,” Aithal said.