Farmers blissful in ignorance about cattle feed

Agriculture Bangalore City

The farmers of Maski Taluk are either unaware about the prescribed feed for cattle from the Karnataka Milk Federation or refuse to buy stating high prices.

By Yamini Chincholi

Four in ten farmers in Maski Taluk are unaware about the cattle feed prescribed by the Karnataka Milk Federation (KMF) and many of them can’t afford it. They incur losses because their cows produce significantly lesser milk compared to those who use the feed, thereby not being able to sell as much to the dairies as their competitors.

KMF recommends a special feed that increases milk secretion in cattle. Each packet of cattle feed costs Rs 750.There are no milk unions or KMF units in Raichur district. No awareness programs have been carried out  to educate the farmers  about  the benefits of the cow feed.

Cattle Feed is manufactured in five plants— Rajanukunte, Gubbi, Dharwad, Hassan and Shikaripur. They manufacture the following – by-pass cattle feed, Nandini Gold (Formerly Type-1) cattle feed, calf feed, calf starter and bull feed.

Ajay Gowda, a landlord said, “Two of my farmers don’t know about the feed. The ones who own desi cows suffer the most. Desi cows give only two litres of milk. They have to compete with farmers owning jersey cows and using the feed. They clueless of what they’re doing wrong.”

Hanumantha, a farmer, said, “I wasn’t aware of the KMF feed, but I wouldn’t buy it anyway. It is outrageously costly.”

The Karnataka Milk Federation gives the feed for free for those who take loans from them. But due to lack of awareness many farmers couldn’t benefit from the initiative.

A KMF official said “We try to conduct awareness programs from time to time. As for the high prices, how can anyone expect anything to be for free? The special schemes for economically deprived farmers are looked after by our administrative office.”