The Male Mahdeshwara wildlife division of the Forest department took up new initiative to support farmers, thus making them to be less dependents of forest. This novel project is brain child of MM hills wildlife wing DCF, V Yedukondalu. Speaking to this reporter on Thursday he said that the project is first of its kind in the country to develop desi cattle breed Hallikar and organic milk and ghee.
According to an understanding between Forest department and villagers, the dairy will be set up in Ponnachi , which will be run by milk producers on co-operative basis. He said Rs 20 lakh investment is needed to set up dairy for packing machinery and building , which will be collected from donors and share capital from villagers. He said all the members are owners of the dairy, the Forest department assisting them to rear Hallikar breed cattles.
Organic food demand moving up
He said day by day, the demand for organic produces are on rise including dairy produces as well. But there is no availability of produces in market now. He said followed by strict guidelines of laws cattles are not allowed inside wild life sanctuary. The project also plans to support farmers to grow grass in their fields by providing a bore well facility. He said the dairy will pack and market the produces under brand name of Hallikar organic ghee. The department will assist for marketing. The Ponnachi village has more than 1500 hallikar breed cattles .
Chamarajanagar district, one of the backward districts of State has large number of small and marginal farmers. Dairy farming provides good returns and also provides employment for farming women. Thousands of families are depending upon dairy for livelihood but so far no branding has been effected. This initiative of Forest department would strengthen dairy farming in district , and economy of farmers.
Source :The Hans India July 29 2021