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Lack of water, fodder forcing farmers to sell cattle

Lack of water, fodder forcing farmers to sell cattle
Highlights

Due severe fodder shortage and increasing feed costs, many farmers, who failed to get minimum support price, are selling the cattle in the district With the severe drought conditions prevailing in the district, the farmers are facing tough times to feed their cattle

Visakhapatnam: Due severe fodder shortage and increasing feed costs, many farmers, who failed to get minimum support price, are selling the cattle in the district. With the severe drought conditions prevailing in the district, the farmers are facing tough times to feed their cattle.

Due to lack of fodder, water shortage and other nutritious feed, the quality of milk production has declined for the past two months. There is an acute shortage of rainfall in the district during 2018 southwest monsoon.

During 2017 season also, the rural mandals in the district received less rainfall. There are 43 mandals in the district of which 10 mandals spread in Visakhapatnam city and 11 mandals in Agency area. Majority of the farmers in the district are depending on milk business after their farm works. The district has 18.75 lakh cattle including buffaloes, sheep and goats.

Visakha Dairy is procuring the milk from farmers and paying money after testing the quality of milk. Meanwhile six more dairies are also procuring milk from farmers. As the district not experienced rains this season, the farmers failed to feed enough fodder to cattle. Meanwhile, the cost of feed also doubled after April this year.

“Forget about the green fodder, the price of hay also increasing abnormally. At an average of 10 to 12 kg fodder needed per day per cattle. Now a kg hay is priced at Rs 6-7. Meanwhile, the feed cost also almost doubled in the past six months.

Maintenance of cattle has become a tough task now. The children are also not assisting us to continue our milk business. That’s why we are forced to sell our cattle,” said Komara Ramu of Chodavaram. Surprisingly, the TDP MLAs are demanding the government to announce Visakhapatnam as a drought-hit district.

The Zilla Parishad General Body meeting already passed a resolution and sent to the government in this regard. However, the government has not yet taken any decision in this regard. Visakhapatnam Milk Producers Welfare Association is also demanding the government to increase milk purchasing cost. However, the managements of various commercial dairies have not yet increased the milk price.

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