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Government to Distribute ‘Desi’ Cows to Farmers in Maharashtra

Maharashtra has decided to give ‘desi’ cows to farmers in the state as part of a scheme, told officials on 23rd January.

Abha Toppo

Maharashtra has decided to give ‘desi’ cows to farmers in the state as part of a scheme, told officials on 23rd January.

According to an official from the Animal Husbandry department, the state government distributes milch cattle under the Scheduled Castes Sub Plan (SCSP) to farmers from the general category, tribal community and Scheduled Caste (SC).

As part of this scheme, government had decided to distribute six, four or two milch cows or buffaloes from 2015.

The official further said, "Till so far, the state government used to give foreign varieties of cows, such as Holstein Friesian (HF) and Jersey, under this scheme. But, to conserve and raise the number of native breeds of cows, it has been decided to include desi cows also in this scheme”.

He added that cow breeds like Sahiwal, Gir, Deoni, Red Sindhi, Rathi, Tharparkar, Gaolao, Lal Kandhari and Dangi cows will be given to farmers under the scheme.

The official also said desi breeds have less milk-producing capacity in comparison to their foreign counterparts.

Take for example, the Jersey and Holstein Friesian (HF) cows have the milk production capacity of 10 - 12 litres per day.

On the other hand, varieties like Sahiwal, Gir, Tharparkar, Red Sindhi, Rathi, have the capacity to give eight to ten litres of milk, whereas Deoni, Lal Kandhari, Gaolao and Dangi cows have the capacity of giving 5 to 7 litres per day.

He said "Though, desi varieties of cows are much sturdier and there is an increasing demand for milk of these cows. Therefore government has been decided to distribute such cows to the farmers".

The move is a part of Maharashtra government's Cow Welfare Policy, under which beef has been barred and Non-government organizations are to be selected to look after old and abandoned animals in the state.

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