Tamil Nadu: Pasture lands go dry, dairy farmers find it difficult to feed livestock

Small farmers who just own two or three cows are the most hit, as they are completely dependent on the pasture land around their village.
Tamil Nadu: Pasture lands go dry,  dairy farmers find it difficult to feed livestock

TIRUPPUR : Small dairy farmers have been hit after several thousand hectares of pasture land have dried up due to the summer heat throughout Tiruppur district.

S Saraswathi, a farmer from Palladam said, “I own just three cows. As a pack of green costs Rs 25, I completely depend on the pasture land around my house. However, the scorching heat has dried up all the grass in the pasture lands for several kilometres. Earlier, when I let my cows graze they kept wandering around but now due to the unbearable heat, they refuse to go out and return to the shelter at noon. Earlier a cow would yield five to six litres of milk per day but now it has dropped to four litres.”

Tamil Nadu Milk Producers Association (Tiruppur) president S K Kolanthaisami told TNIE, “The heat has not just dried up all the pasture lands in Palladam but it has dried up lands in Uthukuli, Kangeyam, Dharapuram, and Pongalur too. Small farmers who just own two or three cows are the most hit, as they are completely dependent on the pasture land around their village. As some animal rearers and milk farmers are not from a financially sound background, they are completely dependant on such lands.”

A top official from the Revenue Department (Tiruppur) said, “The revenue officials led by the Village Administrative Officer (VAO) do not take assessment or measure lands that are classified as pasture or patta land that are died up in a village. We are allocated for measuring crop sown areas and harvests in patta land. However, for the past several weeks, we have noticed several thousand hectares of pasture land and grasslands have dried up.”

Acknowledging the issue, Aavin (Tiruppur Division) General Manager K Sujatha said, “The heat has affected all animals and fowls. As the soaring temperature is unbearable for cows and with non-availability of green and pasture lands, we have experienced a drop in milk procurement as well.”

Joint Director of Animal Husbandry Department K Pugalenthi said, “Currently, there is no scheme for offering paddy straw from the Tamil Nadu government. Offering shade is very important for cows, may it be through trees or man-made sheds, it is a must for cattle. Farmers must observe their cattle regularly and take precautionary measures to protect their animal during heat.”

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