Fodder crunch spurs spike in cattle sales
The acute shortage of fodder and water is taking its toll on the cattle rearers in Mahabubnagar district. With the situation getting worse, most of the cattle are getting thin and weak and the farmers have no other option but to sell them before they die due to lack of fodder and water.
Mahabubnagar: The acute shortage of fodder and water is taking its toll on the cattle rearers in Mahabubnagar district. With the situation getting worse, most of the cattle are getting thin and weak and the farmers have no other option but to sell them before they die due to lack of fodder and water.
- With most of the cattle becoming weak due to fodder and water scarcity, farmers have no other option but to sell them before they die.
- Though the authorities concerned have supplied seeds on subsidy to the farmers, they have no water to raise the fodder crops.
- The rates of cattle take a plunge due to poor health of the animals being brought to the weekly markets, adding to the woes of the
- cattle rearers.
“We had more than 3,000 cattle, but due to lack of fodder and water, we are forced to sell them. At present, only 100-150 are left, if the situation further deteriorates, only 10-15 animals will be left in the village,” said Madala Bala Masaiah, a farmer at Munnanoor village in Midjil Mandal.
Particularly, the villagers of Munnanoor have been struggling for drinking water for the past 15 days. “We have asked the sarpanch to procure water tankers but till date we didn’t get even one tanker. Out of 300 agricultural borewells in the village, only 50 are working. We are sure even these borewells will go dry once the summer begins.
At present, we are facing severe water problems and our cattle are suffering a lot. We are giving water once in two days to the animals,” said Devatula Anjaneilu, another farmer from Devatula Anjaneyulu of Mannanoor village.
The situation in Nagasala, another village near Jadcherla mandal is no different. Almost more than 25 farmers gathered to pour their plight. Most of them complained of dried up borewells and lack of drinking water. The farmers here also are debt-ridden due to continuous drought and failure of crops.
“With no rains and borewells going dry, all our crops have withered away and we are facing acute fodder scarcity,” said Meesala Hussain, a farmer from Nagasala. Due to the prevailing drought conditions, dairy farmers are at the receiving end as they are facing the heat due to non-availability of fodder. “The fodder cost has gone up from Rs 4,000 to Rs 5,000 a year ago to Rs 30,000 per putti (5 tonnes).
The cost of milking cows and buffaloes has gone up from Rs 20,000 -30,000 to Rs 60,000 70,000. But if we sell them again, we are losing 20 per cent on the original cost as the cattle are getting thinner and weaker due to lack of fodder,” said Abdul Samad, another farmer from Nagasala village.
As the conditions became worse, the farmers are left with no option but to sell their cattle and get atleast the minimum price so that they can repay their debts. Devija, a regular cattle seller and buyer from Chinnagutta said, “This summer we have seen a rise in cattle sales. Unfortunately, the rates took a plunge due to poor health of the animals being brought to the weekly markets.
The prices of cattle will go up during the beginning of rainy season this year, but many people are selling due to lack of fodder and water at present.” However, when asked as to what steps they were taking to mitigate the fodder scarcity in the district, Dr. Sudhakar, the Joint Director of Animal Husbandry, said, “I can understand that the situation is worst especially with regard to cattle and other livestock.
Keeping this in view, we have supplied 345 metric tonnes of fodder seeds on 75 per cent subsidy to the farmers and are planning to supply 7,760 tonnes of subsidised cattle feed for the next three to four months during the summer. Despite our sincere efforts, the district will still face a deficit of 100 metric tonnes of fodder which we hope will be met by the farmers on their own.”
On the other hand, the cattle rearers and farmers regret that though the authorities concerned have supplied them seeds on subsidy, they have no water to raise the fodder crops. “We got jowar seeds for raising them as fodder crops, but the seeds didn’t germinate due to lack of water,” replied Bandari Yadiah, a farmer from Munnanoor of Midjil Mandal.
At present, only 6.53 lakh metric tonnes of fodder is available to feed about 57 lakh animals in the district. According to the Joint Director Animal husbandry, the livestock population is 56.55 lakh. To feed the livestock during severe drought, the department is also seeking assistance from the Central government under National Disaster Relief Management (NDRM). “As per provisions, the Central government can assist the district for about 60 days and this we are expecting during the last phase of drought period”.