To mitigate the impact of summer on cattle farming in the district, steps are under way to ensure that the 3.5 lakh enumerated cattle get adequate quantity of dry fodder as well as substitutes for green fodder.
Since it is difficult to raise green fodder in the present dry climatic conditions, the Department of Animal Husbandry is supplying azolla culture free of cost to farmers as a substitute for green fodder. The farmers are also being taught the technique to raise azolla, a genus of aquatic fern. “Just a 10-minute briefing is required to teach about azolla cultivation. We have commenced distribution of azolla culture through 97 veterinary dispensaries across the district”, said Joint Director of Animal Husbandry A. Murugan. Regarding dry fodder, the Animal Husbandry officials have been sourcing paddy straw (dry fodder) from different places in Tamil Nadu situated close to Andhra Pradesh border and also from southern parts of the State.
“We have commenced the distribution of dry fodder to farmers at a heavily subsidised rate of Rs. 2 per kg against the market rate of Rs. 10 to Rs. 15 per kg. “A total of 1,500 tonnes of dry fodder will be distributed in the district”, said Dr. Murugan.
The dry fodder distribution at subsidised rates will continue till May end and might get extended to June.