Odisha is lagging behind in Dairy farming enterprise. Increment in milk collection by organized milk procuring outlets and also the marginal rise in per capita milk consumption doesn’t speak the full story. In spite of these so called achievements,adjudging other parameters, there is glaring discrepancies in dairy development. Have we really improved? Are we in the right track?
In fact Dairy farming in Odisha is practiced,exclusively with cattle. Most of the cattle are low productive. Quality of milk is often low in SNF and fat percentage. Very few dairy farmers are educated above matriculation and most are far from scientific skills. Traditional farming still overrides logical lines.
On the other hand young people are in the quest for respectable and stable livelihood. Thousands of educated youngsters dream toget settled in dairy farming. Many private job holders choose dairy as an alternate to their jobs.Never the less are ample instances of switch over to dairying. But unfortunately most of the initiatives have failed.
Our children and elders still struggle to get a dietary dose of milk.It’s still more important to provide good quality health friendly milk.
Our state machinery is still callous. Our livestock-policy makers are confused. They lack vision. This is explicit when our cattle breeding policies change frequently introducing new plans and rolling back in the next. The poor farmer are victim of such gimmicks. The picture of dairy finance and loan recovery following loan squeeze, tells the story of how our dairy entrepreneurs failed in the past 4 decades following the governments guide lines.
The policy switch overs are interestingly amusing.Toying with the idea to increase milk quantity through exotic cross breeds Govt. of India imported 5 donor breeds,ignoring our own milk-breed of cattle like Sahiwal, Red Sindhi and Gir, which had proved worthy by then. All the exotic breeds Holstein (Holland), Brown Swiss (Switzerland) Red Den (Denmark) and Guernsey and Jersey (Islands in English Channel) were from cooler climatic zones. The policy makers and white collars very well knew that. These cattle were propagated in our country, in the fifties and sixties by using artificial insemination indiscriminately. Practically no cattle was spared be it Deshi or of a recognized breed.
Soon the so called experiment died down. Barring two breeds Jersey and Holstein others were withdrawn. People were made to undergo with an illusion that these exotic crossbreds would not only increase milk production but would also provide livelihood to millions.But it never happened in 70 years
The exotic cattle were found unworthy. In year 2000GoI decided to promote Indian breeds. It was too late. The dairy entrepreneurs were the worst hit. They had lost their career; being bad debtors banks were closed for them.
Dr. Ranjit Dash. B.V.sc & A.H
KadeiSasan Po Badachana, Jajapur
Cattle breeding Policy or confusion!
Toeing the lines of the national breeding exercises,Odisha followed cross breeding of its cattle with exotic breeds like Jersey &Holstein.Indian breed Haryana was also used without formulating any specific policy.
Only in 1982, at the behest of GoI, a comprehensive cattle breeding policy was framed.Hariana was declared as the ‘breed of choice’ for grading up Deshi. By this time it had been widely known that Jersey & Holstein mixed cattle were highly vulnerable to uncontrollable diseases like Theileriosis, Surra and mastitis.But our policy was said Dairy animals were to be produced mixing Deshi with Haryana or Red Sindhi and these mixed ones will be remixed with Pure Jersey, to get 50:50 Jersey. In practice it seldom materialized.
Holstein was officially introduced in the guise of giving a concessionto bepromoted only in Industrial suburbs.Aiming to obtain animals with 25% HF&25%Jersey with Hariana mixed Deshi;was again a difficult proposition. The aim was never fulfilled.Hariana Jersey mix were to be used anywhere and everywhere in the state irrespective of Haryana breeding tract!
Binjharpuri cattle was known since pre independence era but not recognized by GoI. For this single policy the breed came to the verge of extinct. Now it is difficult to locate pure Binjharpuri cattle. Our genetic resource, a gift of nature, was seriously affected. So also Mottu, Khariar, Ghumsaricattle breed were polluted.
In its battle against Indian breeds the Govt of Odisha, went a step further in 1998. This time its revised policy spoke of applying pure Holstein to the Deshi mixed cattle too. People were hoodwinked by telling Jersey was the dairy breed of choice.It seems to be a desperate attempt to get hybrids every where at the cost of our own breed.
The Indian breed lovers got a bolt from the blue when Go unannounced withdrawal of both of the Indian breeds – Haryana from 26 districts and Red Sindhi totally. The plea was the breed wasn’t beneficial to farmers!
Did xenophobia wield power in structuring such policies or was it compulsion or non-application of mind? After all the worst sufferers were the farmers.
Dr. Ranjit Dash. B.V.sc & A.H
Kadei Sasan Po Badachana, Jajapur