Punjab government has taken a slew of new measures to improve milk production and encourage farmers for rearing and buying dairy animals. As a part of its initiative the government has launched a project to develop pure breed of ‘Sahiwal’ cattle under Gokul Gram Yojna. Not only would this initiative help in developing pure breed but is also expected to increase the production of milk in the state. Under ‘Gokul Gram Yojna’ about 600 high-genetic breed of Sahiwal cows would be housed and it would be developed with the help of highly scientific techniques with an emphasis on increasing the milk production. The Animal Husbandry Department has started identifying and buying the Sahiwal Cows producing more milk.
A hi-tech Bull Mother Farm has also been set up under the Rashtriya Krishi Scientific Yojna at Village Rauni in district Patiala, to ensure good quality of breed.
Sahiwal breed was considered one of the best breeds of cattle in Punjab prior to Indo-Pak partition. According livestock census of 2012, there are about 38,446 Sahiwal breed cows left in Punjab.
State Animal Husbandry Minister Gulzar Singh Ranike says the government is committed to protect the indigenous cow breed of Sahiwal and increase the number of pure breed dairy animals.
“Punjab government is determined not only to protect this indigenous cow breed but also raise the number of high yielding cows,” he said. He also added that the cattle farmers who are rearing Sahiwal Cows, would be honoured with a cash award and certificates.
In another such move the government has started registration of high-breed cattle under its ‘herd registration programme’. The programme aims at identifying elite milk producing cattle by registering them online and crate a reliable database for people, who rear and buy dairy animals.
According to deputy director animal husbandry Jatinder Kumar Chopra, those who get their cattle registered online would be awarded incentive from Rs 500 to 1,500 in accordance with the quality. For registration the high breed cattle are to be identified from five different categories- Sahiwal, Exotic Holstein Friesian (HF), Exotic/CB Jersey, Murrah and Nili-Ravi.
According to officials in the department of animal husbandry, HF breeds cows producing around 5,000 to 6,000 litre, Jersey 3,000 to 4,000 litre, Murrah 3,000 to 3,500 litre, Nili Ravi 2,000 to 3,000 litre and Sahiwal 2,000 to 2,500 litre milk during 292 days of the lactation period will be included in the elite production category.
The department has also decided that the veterinary inspectors will carry out door-to-door survey to identify high-breed cattle. The animals will be selected primarily within first month of calving on third and 14th days. Recording of milk produced in 292 days will be registered on Punjab animal husbandry website, along with the daily milk production, and the owner’s detail, including mobile number.
Dr Harjinderjit Singh Sandhu, director, animal husbandry, mentions that the department has already identified about 10,000 high-breed cows and buffalos under the category. The department has set a target of registering about 40,000 to 50,000 cattle every year.