Being the second largest milk producing state in India, Rajasthan takes pride in its diverse cattle population. In a bid to boost farmer income before 2020 through animal husbandry, Rajasthan government, for the first time will record exact number and breed-wise details of livestock. The 20th livestock census in Rajasthan will include important details to enhance milk production in cattle. To accomplish this goal, efforts will be made to improve the progeny of aboriginal cattle breeds.
According to animal husbandry department secretary Mr. Ajitabh Sharma, the department will identify breeds during livestock census to collect data for genetic experiments. Animal scientists can use this data in genetic improvement programs to improve health and milk producing capacity of the indigenous breeds.
The cow ministry of Rajasthan will compile breed-wise details of the animals via surveys. Such surveys have been conducted in other states like Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Maharashtra. However, this is for the first time that Rajasthan is conducting this survey. The data collected from the surveys will help the government keep track of indigenous breeds for conservation. The animal husbandry department will focus on supplying resources to particular areas that harbor rich livestock population.
The survey department will set up a team of investigating officers and veterinarians possessing knowledge of various animal breeds. The decision of preserving pure cattle lines was taken after the department discovered that many Rajasthan farmers have bought exotic breeds of cattle. These exotic breeds are made by crossing pure animal lines with foreign breeds like Jersey that produce milk in large quantities. In time, the cattle breeders have started using these breeds to earn more profits—an immature practice that eventually led to decline in indigenous animal number.
Though there are 84 lakh milk producing cows in Rajasthan, the number of ‘desi’ cows is consistently going down with each day. Rajasthan has limited number of cows belonging to Harayan, Sahi, Gir, Kankri and Tharparkar breeds. This is why, it’s essential to maintain their numbers.
The authorities are determined to promote use of ‘desi’ cows in animal husbandry. Take a step in this direction, the government will conduct its animal survey starting from today that is 16th July. Special software has been developed for this purpose. The software will directly store this data on NIC’s cloud server. The authorities will purchase 6000 tablets worth Rs 3.5 crore for surveys. About 60% of the total budget for cow survey will be sponsored by the Centre. They’ve already released the first installment for this project.
Both Centre and the state governments will come together to protect ‘desi’ cows in Rajasthan. Hopefully, this will make animal breeders realize the worth of indigenous cows.