“The state government has directed district-level officials of the animal husbandry department to identify lands classified as grazing land in the revenue records, which are suitable for cultivating fodder crops under the rejuvenation of grazing land scheme. At least 50 acres in each district will be earmarked for the scheme,” said a senior official.
“We have identified 26 acres in areas like Kinathukadavu, Arasampalayam and Solavampalayam in the district and plan to identify more within a few weeks. Depending on factors such as land fertility and rainfall, fodder crop varieties would be selected for cultivation.”
The state government roped in DRDA to provide workers under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MGNREGA) to plant and cultivate fodder crops. Fodder will be distributed to dairy farmers in the surrounding areas at subsidized prices. The scheme is likely to be launched before February.
Meanwhile, farmers said that the scheme would be beneficial only if it is implemented properly. “Dairy farmers spend as much as Rs 150 a day on oil cake, green and dry fodder to feed a cow. They will benefit only if the price is less,” said district secretary of All India Kisan Sabha (AIKS) Su Palanisami.
It will be very difficult to provide fodder round-the-year, said Mahalakshmi, a Thadagam-based dairy farmer.