Promoting the breeding of indigenous cow species: Sosamma Iype

Although the state government has widely promoted organic farming in recent years, its cattle breeding policy does not yet consider indigenous cow herders as dairy farmers, Padma award winner Sosamma Iype, who has pioneered the conservation of the Vechur breed of native cows. cows, said.

Mrs Iype said The Hindu that the interests of the farmers did not feature in the policy of the state government. In fact, the Union government focused more on the conservation of native cow species. The native cow breeders needed advice and marketing support from the state government for their products. Unfortunately, the breeding of endemic species of cows in the state was confined to a select group of farmers interested in conserving these varieties,” Ms Iype said.

The state government should give adequate consideration to native cow herders when developing agriculture and animal husbandry policies. While promoting organic farming, the breeding of indigenous cows should also be encouraged. Then only native varieties of cows could be saved from extinction, said Ms Iype. According to the last Vechur cow census held 10 years ago, there were approximately 2,516 head in the state. It was expected to reach a base stock of around 10,000 now taking into account the breeding patterns of the species.

Lack of sponsorship

Lack of patronage was the main stumbling block for farmers. A large number of farmers preferred crossbred varieties as they were more profitable. But if the state government prioritized organic milk production, the number of native cow farmers would increase in a short time, Ms Iype said.

Unlike crossbred varieties, Vechur cow’s milk had a high content of fat and nutritional elements. The breeding of the Vechur cow was still a matter of concern for dairy farmers due to the high price of the cow in the local market. A breeding policy developed with consideration for native cow herders would help the state popularize the breed and bring the price of the cow down to an affordable level, Ms Iype said.