The state government is setting up three research stations to increase the milk yield of Gir and Kankrej varieties of cows and Jaffarabadi and Mehsana buffaloes, all indigenous to Gujarat. The three places where the research stations are being set up are Dharampur near Porbandar in Saurashtra, Palanpur in north Gujarat and Mandvi near Surat in south Gujarat.
While Dharampur centre would exclusively conduct research work on Gir cows, Palanpur would undertake research on Kankrej cows and Mehsana buffaloes and Mandvi centre would handle research on Gir and Jaffarabadi buffaloes.
Animal Husbandry and Cow Breeding Minister Babubhai Bokhiria said that the state government had already allotted 350 hectares of land for Dharampur centre, 900 hectares for Mandvi and the allotment of 300 hectares for Palanpur centre was under process. The minister said that the central government would also be contributing funds for the project. He said that the idea behind the project was to preserve the local bovine, particularly cows, because cow was linked to local culture and values.
He said that the increase in milk yield, making cow breeding profitable, would create interest of people in investment in cows. The current milk yield of a Gir cow per day is 10 litres on an average during its lactation period of 310 days approximately. It is less than10 litres a day in the case of Kankrej cows while in the case of Jaffarabadi and Mehsana buffaloes, it’s about 30 litres per day. A senior official of the animal husbandry department said that it was because of low milk yield of cows that the growth of cows in the state was 7.4 per cent between 2003-2007. For buffaloes, it was 22.8 per cent during the same period.