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We, the participants of the Conference “Native livestock breeds for the future of mankind” that was organised on 7th and 8th July, 2012 at Hosanna mount in Bharananganam, Kottayam, Kerala, by the Vechur Cattle Conservation Trust with the support from National Biodiversity Authority Chennai discussed, exchanged information and reviewed trends around indigenous livestock breeds and arrived at the following conclusions: 1. Considering that in India livestock is the main source of livelihood for the rural poor, with marginal farm households (≤1.0h hectare of land) owning more than half of country’s cattle and buffalo, and more than 80% of its sheep and goats, 2. Noting that most of the livestock related tasks are performed by women who succinctly express a preference for easy-to-manage and resilient local livestock breeds, 3. Reviewing the evidence from National Sample Surveys which indicates that the average milk yields of native cattle and buffalo breeds is gradually increasing due to livestock keepers’ own interventions and without outside support , while those from cross-breeds are hovering at around 6 kg, despite massive financial investments by the government over five decades, 4. Being mindful of the fact that according to recent extensive surveys by the Rainfed Livestock Network, livestock throughout India continues to depend majorly on Common Property Resources (village commons, forest, revenue land) as well as crop by-products, while purchased feed plays a minor role, 5. Becoming aware of the global data about the decrease in fertility, short life-spans, and the high degree of in-breeding in Holstein-Friesians with their effective population size reduced to only 100 animals, 6. Realizing that semen supply is dependent on a small number of global players 7. Observing that according to international forecasts by OECD and FAPRI (Food and Agricultural Policy Research Institute at the University of Iowa, USA), feed price levels are expected to increase by about 50% in the long-term, We conclude that five decades of the existing policy of promoting cross-breeding and exotic breeds has led us nowhere in India, while the scenario in other countries does not provide a promising model to follow. We therefore strongly recommend the following actions to be taken for the sake of rural livelihoods and poverty alleviation, for the conservation and sustainable use of biological diversity, as well as for national autonomy and independence from imports: Read more >>>>>
Beta Casein A2 gene in Vechur cattle
The research findings of Dr.E.M.Mohammed (as part of his M.V.Sc thesis) that the milk of Vechur cattle is found to be rich in Beta casein A2 with its beneficial effects of preventing diabetes, heart diseases, atherosclerosis, autism and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), in comparison to the Kerala’s preferred and high yielding cross-bred Jersey, Holstein-Friesian and Brown Swiss cattle have drawn the attention of the researchers, academics and media quite recently.
According to Dr Mohammed, Milch breeds such as Holstein Friesian and Ayrshire have a high frequency of A1 gene but most of the Indian breeds have only the beneficial A2 gene. His comparative study on the presence of A2 Beta casein in Vechur cows and cross-bred cows revealed that cross bred cattle though yields more milk may be rich in harmful A1 gene. He is of the view that “our efforts should be to increase cattle population capable of producing milk with the beneficial A2 gene variant of beta casein which has a global demand.”
Dr Mohammed from Chelannur, Kozhikkod is pursuing his doctoral studies in Animal Breeding,Genetics and Biostatistics at Kerala Agricultural University on deputation from the Department of Animal Husbandry, Kerala. Read More >>>>
Holy cow! Small is beautiful
When Kerala Agriculture Minister K.P. Mohanan paid Chandran ‘Master’ Rs.15,000 for a Vechur calf last September, he was rewarding a conscious law-breaker. Yet, the Minister, on behalf of the Livestock Development Board, was doing the right thing — and everyone approved. Chandran ‘Master’ and other intrepid souls have helped keep Kerala’s unique cattle varieties alive. This, despite antiquated laws that made the breeding of such animals by farmers illegal without a licence from the State’s Director of Animal Husbandry. And through some years when livestock inspectors relentlessly castrated the bulls of these ‘inferior’ breeds, boosting the dominance of crossbred cattle.
This flowed partly from the idea that higher milk yields, regardless of costs and consequences, were all that mattered. In what could mark an attitude shift, the State is now paying rebel farmers for resisting its own depredations. Read More >>>
The deshi cow milk jinx
“The milk from my cows is thicker and sweeter, and good for children’s growth,” says Vidyabai Awathale, a traditional herder from the Gawli community, who conserves the rare Gaolao breed of cattle from Wardha district in Maharashtra, “It makes very tasty khowa and the ghee has richer fragrance and taste.”
Awathale, however, despairs of being able to sustain her herd of around 50 cows in the future, as getting a sustainable income from them is a challenge. “Our milk is much better than the milk of Jersey and Holstein cows,” says she, “Those animals yield more milk, but it is thinner, and not very tasty. But in the market, no one bothers. We get the same Rs 18-21 that Jersey milk fetches,” she rues, “It is a loss for us, you know, because the milk yield of our cows is about a third of what those cows yield.” Read More >>>
If you are not drinking A2 milk, the chances are that in the long term you are likely to suffer from allergies, diabetes, obesity and cardio-vascular diseases. While the exotic cattle breeds may be producing higher milk but because of the concentration of A1 allele gene in their bodies, the milk they produce is much inferior in quality. As per a report in The Telegraph,London, the commonly consumed milk contains A1 allele leading to allergies, causing bloating, abdominal pain, nausea, diarrhea and constipation.
Accordingly, a study published last month in the scientific journal Infant has linked A1 milk with increased risk of type 1 diabetes in some infants, adverse immune responses, digestive disorders and respiratory dysfunction. It is primarily for the health advantages that A2 milk offers that singer Dannii Minogue, who was faced with digestive disorders, has now become a brand ambassador for the A2 milk. Read More >>>
Cultivating a culture of unity
KP Unni Gopalan, fondly known as Unni Gopalan Master — a retired teacher at Chemancheri in Kozhikode is totally immersed in farming, to be more precise, zero-budget natural farming. Having practised this technique in his one acre paddy field for seven years, Unni Gopalan Master attributes an increased yield to natural farming and its proponent Subhash Palekar. The School of Agriculture, Chemancheri promotes and propagates zero-budget natural farming techniques is also being run by Unni Gopalan and his friends. His sincere efforts was awarded recently by Animal. Read More >>>
What is this Zero Budget spiritual Farming ?
Zero Budget spiritual Farming means for all the crops, the production cost will be zero. In the Zero Budget Natural Farming nothing has to be purchased from the outside. All things required for the growth of the plant are available around the root zone of the plants. There is no need to add anything from outside. Our soil is prosperous-full of nutrients. How much nutrients the crops takes from the soil? Only 1.5 to 2.0 % Remaining 98 to 98.5% nutrients are taken from air, water & solar energy. Agriculture Universities says false that we have to add fertilizers from outside. If science says, that 98% crop body is constituted by air and water, then where is the need to add the fertilizers from the outside? Every green leaf produces the food throughout the day. These green leafs are food producing factories. What is used the leaves for producing the food? It takes carbon dioxide & nitrogen from the air, water from the canal, river or well given by the monsoon clouds, and solar energy from the sun for producing the food. Every green leaf of any plant produces 4.5 gram carbohydrates per square feet surface, from which we get 1.5 gram grains or 2.25 gram fruits. For preparing this food, the plants take necessary elements like air, water and solar energy from the nature, not from us. Monsoon clouds do not send any bill for the water that he supplied. Neither air sends bill for the nitrogen it supplied or the sun for the solar energy. All these are available free of cost. Green leaves do not use the technology of the Agriculture University for taking CO2 from the air or solar energy from the sun. Whether monsoon clouds use the technology of Agriculture University for giving rainwater? No! All these elements constituting 98% body of the plant are available free of cost. Remaining 1.5% nutrients taken from the soil are also available free of cost as it is taken from the prosperous soil which is enriched with these nutrients. Moreover, for this it does not use the technology of the Agriculture University. – See more at: http://palekarzerobudgetspiritualfarming.org/zbnf.aspx#sthash.1spdOV73.dpuf
Cow dung had a great role in waste management
Dr. Geetha was the brain behind Koduvally Model Waste Mangement.
Waste management can be incorporated in our daily life in a very simple way. We can follow the method adopted by koduvally Panchayath of Kozhikode District, Kerala State. They have taken up it as a Group mobilisation activity of Animal Husbandry Department under ATMA 2012-13. For this program there was a total allotment of Rs. 60,000/-. 12 groups (Women) each having 5 members were selected and the fund allocation is Rs. 5000/- per Group.
In the program it has planned to collect waste from Koduvally Town and process the biodegradable waste by “Thumboomuzhi Method of Aerobic Composting Technique”. The program is well supported by the Grama Panchayath, Kudumbasree, Shop Owners, Agriculture and health departments and the Public. Three round discussions were held, a committee is formed for the implementation of the program and the program is planned as follows. Read More >>>
India is the world’s largest producer of milk. But in 10 years, we will be forced to start importing it. And the Indian cow will no longer exist.Jay Mazoomdaar investigates a looming disaster
Predictably, an almost criminal lack of government planning and foresight is responsible for this. India does possess the world’s biggest cattle herd, but typically, the individual yield of these malnourished cows is very low. Merely helping small farmers increase their cows’ food and water intake could have had miraculous results. (Indian cows, for instance, are doing really well in Brazil. In 2011, a pure Gir named Quimbanda Cal broke its own 2010 record of delivering 10,230 kilolitres of milk a year, with a daily yield of 56.17 kilolitres.) But instead of focussing on — and improving — the reasons why the yield of these cows was low in India, the government in the 1960s started crossbreeding Indian cows with imported bulls and semen.
INDIAN COW breeds are a crucial part of the country’s ecological heritage. Since ancient times, different breeds were developed in different parts of the subcontinent by selecting the best animals for preferred traits such as their milking capacity, draught power, feeding requirements, capacity to adapt to local weather, immunity, etc. The purity of such breeds was maintained with great discipline and wisdom in each geographical pocket known as a breeding tract. Read More >>>
Thanks to Dr Sanjeev Balyan
The young and Dynamic Minister of State-Agriculture & Food Processing is the face of youth leadership and is committed for second green & white revolution
On a like by Hon Minister to promote traditional cows included 50 Crore rupees in the Central Budget by his efforts.