My dear friends, following my last week column on kangayam cattle some of you had called me and asked if kangayam breed alone is the solution for organic farming? What about other breeds? Are local breeds in different regions not useful etc?
For all of their queries I decided to take the case study of another young entrepreneur from Andhra Pradesh.
S Vinoth Reddy, a young farmer from Chittoor district, after his graduation in BSc started working on his small farm initially. He bought four desi breed punganoor cows.
His strong opinion is that only desi cow-based agriculture can help farmers in organic farming and also prevent suicides. According to him a farmer can avoid all the expenses by using and storing all inputs for his farm at his home.
Vinoth currently makes 18 cow-based products such as tooth powder, cow dung cakes, dish washer, wall hangers, face pack, phenyl, dung bricks, pain relief oil, scared ash, mosquito repellent and garlands and sell them online through agriculturalinformation.com and indiamart.com websites. He has also started making 180 shapes of dung cakes with the help of Bangalore Institute of Technology (BIT).
Every region in our country has its own specific cattle breed. These native breeds are hardy and do not require any special attention like jerseys or HF breeds. Today in organic farming maintaining one desi cow can easily help a farmer cultivate two acres without high input costs.
This has been proven in some 20 villages in Chitoor district. The irony is Telangana, which is hardly 80 km from here, is a hotbed of farmer suicides and it will do good if they can come and visit Chittoor district.
Maintaining a desi cow helps in two ways. One, it helps a farmer in his organic cultivation. Two, by keeping a cow, the farmer can help in the breed protection. Several hundreds of native cow breeds have been lost and have become extinct. Today we have several organisations to raise their voice for protecting the tiger, the house sparrow and even the street dogs. Sadly there is none to take steps on protecting native cow breeds except by people like Vinoth or Karthikeya Sivasenapathy.
Vinoth out of his personal interest has been doing research on farmer suicides. He travelled everywhere and met with several farmers, and came to know that debt was the main cause.
Farmers buy fertilizers on credit for which a small interest is added by the fertilizer retail shops. Monsoon failure causes crop loss and the farmer buys more inputs with a hope of succeeding, not realising that he has not corrected his earlier mistake. He faces loss again and is unable to repay the debt.
Vinoth wanted to try to make a change for others to follow and hence started dabbling in this type of cow-based farming.Those interested can reach him firstname.lastname@example.org mobile: :09440230052. Address is S Vinoth Reddy, Prakruthi, EguvaThavanampalli village, ThavanampalliMandal, Chitoor district- 517131.
There is no reason for us to delay or avoid maintaining a desi breed cow in our farms. The only reason we are not doing so is laziness or our mind not being tuned to it. But remember, as farmers, if we want to live a debt-free life then desi cow is the best solution. It’s up to us to take the right decision and we can’t wait for a government to prod us to do it.