Kadapa: The government is supporting fodder cultivation to further promote the dairy sector. Preparations are under way for this under the Employment Guarantee Scheme to enable farmer families living on dairy farming to do the cultivation.
The district animal husbandry department is taking steps to increase fodder cultivation on about 1,500 acres in the district from the current kharif season and increase milk production by providing superior feed.
It has set a target to grow fodder on 1,500 acres this year, while farmers have already registered via online for cultivation over about 950 acres.
The district has a stock of 6,23,680 cattle, of which 4,86,581 are buffaloes and 1,37,099 are cows. The main objective of the scheme is to meet the fodder shortage.
Farmers will have to provide water for the cultivation. Some 190 working days are provided under the Employment Guarantee Scheme. The funds required for this will be paid as per the regulations.
A yield of ten tonnes per acre will suffice to feed about 10 buffaloes. A tonne of common grass is priced at Rs 5,000 in the open market. The authorities believe farmers can become financially viable by cultivating fodder with governmental support.
Farmers who own or lease land under the scheme are also eligible. Permission is granted to cultivate grass on 25 cents to 2.5 acres per farmer. Workers are paid Rs 45,030 per acre through the EGS. A sum of Rs 38,624 will be allocated as the material component.
Dr Venkatagiri Laxmana Satyaprakash, joint director, district animal husbandry, told Deccan Chronicle that grass per acre of land would have to be cultivated for two years under a multi-purpose annual plan. The unit value will be Rs 83,654 provided by the government, including wages and material components.
He said farmers would have to register through the nearest Rythu Bharosa Kendram. They have to produce the Gram Sabha or Mandal resolution, employment guarantee job card, land pass book and Aadhaar card.