A three-day international cow conference will be starting in Pune from November 29. The exhibition will see experts from various fields talk about the different breeds of cows, as well as management techniques for indigenous (desi) breed.
The idea of the conference is to develop new perceptions on cow breeding among youngsters, and increase respect for the industry so it can be looked at as a potential career option.
Dr Vallabhbhai Kathiria, chairman of Rashtriya Kamdhenu Aayog, while addressing the media on Thursday, said the need of the hour is to ensure preservation and propagation of the desi breed. “Economics of the animal in terms of its milk, urine and dung have to be explored to make its preservation viable for farmers,” he said. The Aayog, which was announced in the interim budget, was finalised in the first budget, presented by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman.
Kathiria said the Aayog is working to bring policies centered around desi cows. “We have given proposals to 35 ministries to incorporate policies aimed at this,” he said. Fertiliser corporations, he added, have been asked to produce bio-fertilisers, which will allow them to procure urine and dung from the animal, thus allowing farmers to make money. Other government bodies, including the National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) have also been asked to take up programmes centered around indigenous cows.
The conference comes at a time when indigenous cows have seen a dip in their population. The 20th Animal Census talked of a 16 per cent dip. Farmers prefer the cross-breed Holstein Friesian, as it produces more milk. Kathiria, however, said that if the desi breed is provided with proper feed, it can also produce as much milk.
The conference will exhibit 30 breeds, as well as information about them. An introduction to Indian cows, interviews of inspirational cow breeders, importance of A-2 milk, production of organic products, natural farming, environmental energy resources through Indian cows and new avenues in cow breeding are some topics that will be discussed. Scientist Vijay Bhatkar will be the chairman of the conference.