Prevailing drought conditions and depleting groundwater table are having a telling effect on cattle and other grazing animals with acute shortage of fodder in the district.
Owing to drought conditions prevalent for two years now, paddy cultivation has come down drastically in the district. During the last khariff, the paddy cultivation came down considerably in the district. And this rabi season, there are no takers for paddy, which is the main source of dry fodder for the cattle.
Efforts to make up for the shortage with maize straw has not been successful with maize crop being cultivated in about 15,000 hectares as against the normal area of 54,830 hectares this rabi. Milch animals require green fodder, but it would be great if the authorities provide at least dry fodder to the cattle.
Sources said the higher authorities failed to chalk out strategies well in advance to mitigate the problem by providing fodder seed in time to farmers. As a result, there is acute shortage of fodder seed in the country and authorities are unable to meet the growing demand to provide green fodder to the cattle.
Similarly, the grazing animals are likely to face shortage of drinking water due to drying up of all the water sources. Against the total of 1,279 water troughs for cattle in the district, only 739 are in good condition and another 533 require repairs for storing water. Besides, the authorities have also proposed 1,231 cattle water troughs in all villages to meet the demand in the coming summer season.
Joint Director (Animal Husbandry) S. Ramchander told recently that they require about 11.93 lakh metric tonnes of fodder from January to June this year. We are expecting 11 lakh metric tonnes of fodder from all sources, he said and added that there would be shortage of only 90,000 metric tonnes.
He said they were motivating the farmers to take up fodder cultivation if they have water sources. “We are also planning to take up fodder cultivation on the tank beds as community project under EGS programme,” he said.
Source :The Hindu