Livestock fair with a difference

Ravinder Saini

The 36th three-day state-level livestock exhibition and fair held at the police lines in Jhajjar recently was different from the routine cattle fair. 

It aimed at encouraging cattlemen to raise the production of milk and improve the breed of their livestock by using modern techniques. They were also made aware of newer innovations, development and latest activities in the field of livestock farming, besides various insurance schemes for cattle.

A lucky draw for the participants coming from across the state was another feature of the fair, which provided farmers an opportunity to the farmers to win Bullet motorcycles, milking machines and a set of livestock mattresses every day on the basis of their registration slips. Tractors were also given to 12 winning farmers under the Krishak Uphaar Scheme with an aim to provide incentives to them for bringing their produce of the minimum value of Rs 5,000 to mandis.  

“The exhibition has proved to be a morale booster for farmers who not only got a lot of vital information about newer techniques of raising milk production and improving the breed of livestock but also availed of the opportunity to compare their cattle with others. Moreover, it also succeeded in spreading awareness among farmers about giving a nutritious and balanced diet to their livestock to keep them healthy,” says Virender, a progressive farmer from Sonepat.

Naveen, a farmer from Panipat, says the exhibition changed the concept of the traditional livestock fair in Haryana. “Earlier, farmers visited the fair only for buying and selling cattle but this time they got a platform to learn about techniques to improve breed and productivity of their cattle and get livestock issue redressed through experts,” he adds. 

Manish Dabas, Deputy Director (Animal Husbandry), says veterinary experts from the NDRI, Karnal, and Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences, Hisar, made farmers aware about modern techniques to raise milk production and redress their grievances about health and diet of their livestock.

“In seminars, experts apprised farmers of selective breeding of  livestock. They spoke about the sex-sorted semen technology to ensure selective birth of female calves of cows and buffaloes. The government is focusing upon adopting this new technique on a large scale to increase the number of cows and buffaloes to raise milk production,” says Dabas. Experts also resolved issues about nutrition and a balanced diet of livestock raised by farmers, he adds.  

Animal Husbandry Minister Om Prakash Dhankar claimed that about 1,500 top breed cattle of the value of about Rs 750 crore were on display in the exhibition that registered participation of thousands of farmers. 

“Haryana has over 21 lakh buffaloes and 15 lakh cows having an average milk production of 6.80 kg but the government is determined to raise the productivity to 10 kg per milch animal. Hence, livestock fairs are being organised regularly to achieve the target by motivating farmers to go for breed improvement of their livestock,” said Dhankar. 

The minister said at present the average milk production per milch animal is 15 litres in Australia, 16 litres in New Zealand and 30 litres in Israel. “We are mulling to send farmers to nations where milk production is much higher than India so that they can learn about their technique of livestock farming,” added Dhankar.

He said an MoU had been signed with Brazil for producing high-breed cattle through the Embryo Technology while another MoU had been inked with Israel to increase per cattle milk production and for assistance in genetics, temperature control, feed and technology.