Mumbai: The state government has decided to promote desi (indigenous) varieties of cows instead of allocating foreign varieties such as Holstein Friesian (HF) and Jersey to the farmers. The state government noticed that there is growing demand for milk of desi cows. Henceforth desi varieties like Gir, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Rathi, Tharparkar, Deoni, Lal Kandhari, Gaolao and Dangi cows will be allocated to the farmers.
The state government has a scheme to allocate foreign varieties of milch animals under the scheduled Caste Sub Plan for the general category, scheduled castes (SCs) and tribal. The scheme has been implemented since the year 2015 under which government allocates six, four or two numbers of milch cows and buffaloes. Till now, the State used to allocate HF and Jersey cows under the scheme. However, to conserve and increase the number of indigenous breeds of cows, it has been decided to include desi cows too in this scheme.
According to state officials, “The desi varieties have less milk-producing capacity as compared to their foreign counterparts. The Holstein Friesian (HF) and Jersey cows have the milk production capacity of 10 to 12 litres per day. Varieties like Gir, Sahiwal, Red Sindhi, Rathi, Tharparkar have the capacity of 8 to 10 litres, whereas Deoni, Lal Kandhari, Gaolao and Dangi cows have the capacity of 5 to 7 litres per day.”
“However, the desi varieties of cows are much sturdier and there is a growing demand for milk of desi cows. Hence it has been decided to allocate desi cows to farmers,” said an official from the animal husbandry department. ,The move is a part of State Government’s cow welfare policy, under which the beef has been banned and Non Governmental Organisations (NGOs) are to be appointed to look after old and abandoned cattle in the state.