KMF to open fodder banks to promote production

KMF to open fodder banks to promote production

 In the backdrop of drought and an increase in the commercial crop produce, the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) will set up fodder banks across the State to support growers and provide sufficient feed for cattle.

The KMF will give priority to treatment of fodder and nutrition by setting up a special unit through a fodder growers’ promotional project with assistance from milk unions in Kolar, Mysore, Dakshina Kannada, Shimoga and Bellary districts.

Fodder banks will provide grants to farmers growing fodder, purchase their product, get it treated and sell it back to farmers at affordable prices in summer.

“A fodder treatment and nutrition unit will be set up by the KMF at Dadesugur in Raichur district. Five fodder banks will be opened at places, including Bellary, Koodligi and Itagi in Bellary district and Boodugumpa Cross in Koppal district,” said Dr Krishna Reddy, manager of the Bellary, Raichur, Koppal Milk Producers’ Federation.

He said Rs 1.10 crore had already been granted for setting up a fodder treatment plant at Dadesugur, including Rs 42.5 lakh under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana of the Union government. “Fodder purchased from farmers will be treated using urea, jaggery and salt. Tenders will soon be called for the construction of the unit,” Reddy said.

Almost 60 per cent of the farmers in the Tungabhadra command area burn up paddy grass instead of using it as fodder for cattle. “We have a new project to purchase paddy grass this year to prevent such wastage. This will not only benefit paddy farmers, but also ensure there is no shortage of fodder for the cattle in the rain-dependent areas any time of the year,” said Reddy.

Most farmers in the command area grow commercial crops, which is one of the key reasons for the shortage of fodder. As a preventive measure, farmers are now being given seeds to grow fodder. In addition, the Federation will implement this year a new project to purchase green grass grown as cattle feed at an acre rate.

“Farmers growing maize as fodder on a two-acre land will be given Rs six lakh as loan under the Rs one-lakh grant facility. They will also be instructed to build cement storage troughs, 20-ft deep and measuring 6x6 ft , which can hold about 10 tonnes of fodder. Fodder cutting machines will also be made available to them at subsidised rates,” said Reddy.