Centre Working on Tech-based Model to Tackle Stray Cattle Issue

Sanjeeb Mukherjee

New Delhi: Concerned over the growing number of stray cattle in the country, the Central government is working on a technology-based model to address the problem in the next six months. “I am trying to create some model in next 4-6 months. The model will be based on technology and linked to agriculture,” Union Animal Husbandry Minister Giriraj Singh told reporters. He did not offer further details, saying that a lot of things are still being worked out and that the government is seriously concerned about problem. Growing stray cattle population (Stray Cattle Issue) was a major issues in the 2019 General Elections and has been a source of pain for several western Uttar Pradesh farmers.

Though various state governments, including the one in Uttar Pradesh where the problem is most acute, are working on several steps to set up new cow sheds and increase the support per animal, the measures have been found to be inadequate, given the sheer magnitude of the problem. Cow vigilantism has been blamed to a key reason for the ballooning stray population. Meanwhile, Singh said the government is introducing sex-sorted semen technology to ensure more female calves are born. “We are targeting 30 lakh (three million) doses a year in the beginning,” hee said, adding that the technology will be developed indigenously to bring down the cost. Other technologies such as IVF (in-vitro fertilisation) will also be used to boost productivity.

The minister said the government would also focus on conserving indigenous breed of cattle, and that the tagging process has been completed on 28 million animals. The minister said a pilot project has started in Gujarat’s Anand district to promote zero-budget farming and if successful, it would be replicated throughout the state and then across the country. Minister of State for Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying, Sanjeev Balyan, stressed the need for public-private partnerships to boost investment and growth in this sector.

The article extracted from Business Standard, September 5, 2019.