AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION

LIVE-STOCK

Live-stock occupies an important place in the agricultural economy of the district. It also constitutes one of the farmer's most coveted possessions. As the existing conditions of agriculture in India afford little scope for the use of mechanical devices for agricultural operations, cattle labour has to be largely relied upon. Drought power required for agricultural operation such as ploughing, harrowing, drawing water for irrigation, transport, etc. is derived mainly from bullocks. Cows and she-buffaloes are reared for purposes of breeding and milk production. Live-stock also provides much of organic manure used on the farm. The district is very famous for its indigenous breed of cattle known as Khilar. A pair of bullocks for drought and a cow or buffalo for milk and manure are to be commonly found with a large number of farmers in the district. In fact no farmer can do farming economically without the aid of live-stock. Table No. 20 gives taluka-wise statistics of live-stock population in Sholapur district as per the live-stock Census of 1972.

The old Gazetteer of Sholapur district gives the following description of the breed of cattle existing then as below:-

"Oxen: Oxen, returned at 1,92,733, are of six breeds khilari raised by Dhangars of that name, deshi or local, lamani or Laman's cattle, malvi from Malwa, sorti from Gujarat and gokaki from Gokak in Belgaum. The khilari bullocks are the best and the local the commonest. The khilari bullocks are largely found in the State of Jath and the Atpadi sub-division of the Pant Pratinidhi's State to the south and south-west of Sholapur. They are stout, hardy, and well-made mostly of one bright colour, with straight horns, red eyes, and somewhat fierce look, and an ill-temper. As they cost as much as 10 to 30 (Rs. 100 to Rs. 300) the pair, only the rich can afford khilari bullocks. The local bullocks are mostly homebred and are quiet and tame. Though equally lasting and patient, the local bullock is inferior to the khilari bullock in strength and beauty. In the plough and in the cart one pair of khilaris will do as much as two pairs of local bullocks. In colour the local breed is more mixed and less bright than the khilari breed. They are much cheaper costing 4 to 10 (Rs. 40 to Rs. 100) the pair. The four remaining breeds are rare. The lamani is valued for its size and appearance, the malvi is a larger species of lamani, and the sorti and gokaki are admired for their heads. The gokaki bullocks are better suited for carting than ploughing. The bullocks are usually owned by husbandmen who use them chiefly in the field." [ Gazetteer of the Bombay Presidency, Vol. XX, Sholapur, 1884, p. 14.]

Sources of live-stock: The district neither exports nor imports livestock for cultural purpose. The farmers purchase their cattle from weekly markets. However some animals of pure breed are imported from distant places in the State for use in key village centres and cattle-breeding farms and for improving the local progeny at farms. The important cattle markets in the district are held at Pandharpur, Bhalwani. Akluj, Barshi, Vairag, Yedshi, Mangalwedha, Modnimb, Tembhurni, Kurduwadi and Karmala. A very big fair is held at Sholapur proper called Gudda Fair in the month of January every year. Similarly a sizeable quarterly fair is held at Pandharpur on Ekadashi, These and other fairs as also the cattle markets are popular for the sale of khilar breed animals. A few Gir breeds are also transacted at these fairs. The Pandharpuri buffalo is the popular and well-known breed of this district.

Live-stock products: The main live-stock products in the district comprise milk, eggs, wool, manure, skin, hides, etc. It should however be noted that no survey has been carried out to assess the cost of production of live-stock products in this district. The number of animals slaughtered in the twelve recognised slaughter-houses in Sholapur district was 1,74,457 during 1972-73. Table No. 21 gives the statistics of prices of selected live-stock and live-stock products in the district. The statistics is based upon estimates and no accuracy is claimed for them.

Fodder-supply: The district is self-sufficient in respect of fodder-supply. The cultivators produce fodder in their farms which mainly consists of kadbi, grass, stalks from ground-nut crop, kutar prepared from the leaves and stalks of wheat, bajra and tur etc. Cottonseeds and groundnut-cake are also served as concentrated feeding to cattle. The sets of the improved variety of fodder, viz., gajraj grass, are supplied to the cultivators. Similarly in order to reduce the wastage of fodder, chaff-cutters have also been supplied.

The cattle breeds in the district, however, lack in milking quality. Attempts are being made on Government level to improve the quality of live-stock in the district under various schemes. The working of the schemes and the position of the live-stock is described in the following paragraphs.

Animal husbandry: The veterinary-aid-centres are run for the purpose of treating ailing animals and birds and to protect them from contagious diseases whereas the husbandry activities concern mainly with the improvement of breeds by various methods such as castration of the scrub bulls, under-developed bulls etc. Artificial insemination is practised to improve pure breeding and cross breeding by supplying artificial insemination facilities to cultivators free of cost. The Sholapur district comprises eleven talukas and each taluka has a veterinary dispensary.

The programme of animal husbandry had been included in the Fourth Five-Year Plan with the objective of the improvement in genetical merit of indigenous stock to control epizootic diseases and for quality sheep breeding. During the Fourth Plan spill-over work of veterinary dispensary building was completed and four additional veterinary-aid-centres were opened.

There were 42 veterinary-aid-centres and ten veterinary dispensaries and two veterinary hospitals in the district at the end of 1972-73.

The live-stock supervisors in charge of veterinary-aid-centres give treatment to the sick animals and carry out other usual animal husbandry work in their jurisdiction. One district diagnosis laboratory is located at Veterinary Hospital, Sholapur. Table No. 22 shows the progress of work in veterinary institutions in the district during the years from 1969-70 to 1972-73.

Cattle development: There is one cattle-breeding farm functioning at Junoni in Sangola taluka in the district with a view to produce pure breed of khilar cattle. The present strength of the animals is 200 at this centre and it is proposed to increase it up to 500. It is also proposed to establish a cross breeding section so that such cross-bred animals will be useful for draught purpose and also for increasing milk production. The district is a home of khilar breed. This breed is famous for hard working and also for its famine-resistance capacity. This farm is under the State sector. Sholapur district is also the home of Pandharpuri buffaloes mainly used for milk purpose.

Supplementary cattle-breeding centres: There are fourteen supplementary cattle-breeding centres in the district. Each centre comprises five villages and in each village ten pure khilar breed cows and one pure khilar breed bull are located for breeding purposes on subsidy basis and on monthly maintenance charges. In 1969-70 there were eighteen bulls and 613 cows in all the centres. The progeny reported was 422 males and 450 females. Each centre is manned by a live-stock supervisor.

District Premium Bull Scheme: The object of the scheme is to encourage the people to improve their cattle by taking the services of the premium bulls. The breeding bulls are supplied to the cultivators under the following schemes. Under half cost scheme a farmer is supplied a breeding bull which he has to maintain in good breeding condition for a period of three years. It is to be utilised by the villagers to improve their cattle breed. Under the district premium bull scheme the farmer has to purchase the breeding bull at his own cost with the approval of the department of animal husbandry. Good pure breed male animals (khilar in the district) are located under this scheme for breeding purposes. Breeders are given monthly maintenance charges for these bulls. At present there are 151 bulls in the district under this scheme. These bulls had given 11,143 services during the year 1968-69, though further follow up of progeny born could not be undertaken.

Artificial insemination: This new technique introduced for the improvement of live-stock has attracted the common man's attention and now it is one of the most important assets in the developing of future progeny by inseminating the local cows by the semen of better bulls of pure breed. In this district there is one District Artificial Insemination Centre at Kurduwadi in Madha taluka. This centre is under the charge of a veterinary officer. This centre supplies semen of pure breed out-standing bulls to other Artificial Insemination Centres. At present, the semen of Gir, Khilar and Pandharpuri buffaloes is being supplied. There are sixteen artificial insemination sub-centres working under the veterinary dispensaries in the district. It was proposed to maintain exotic bulls for semen production and its distribution to the sub-centres. During the first four years of the Fourth Plan 6,427 cows and buffaloes were inseminated.

Key Village Scheme: There is one key village centre at Mahud in Sangola taluka organised under Central Government Scheme aiming at the over-all improvement of all classes of animals by treating the ailing, and castrating the scrub bulls, adopting preventive vaccination, carrying out improvement of fodder, affording marketing facilities and practising artificial insemination. This centre is under the charge of a veterinary officer and a few live-stock supervisors.

Sheep Development Scheme : This scheme aims to improve the local breed of sheep as well as the quality and quantity of wool by supplying pure breed rams to the shepherds. Under this scheme there is one sheep-breeding station at Mahud in Sangola taluka in the district. This station is maintaining 1,100 Coridel, Marino and Deccani eves and rams and the improved progeny is being sold for production of good variety of wool and meat. There are eight supplementary sheep-breeding centres and four sheep and wool extension centres at Piliv, Jawala, Sangola and Bhalwani, under the supervision of livestock supervisors. Improved Deccani rams are supplied to the shepherds for breeding purposes. Interested shepherds are given training in scientific sheep-rearing, protection of sheep against contagious diseases and drenching etc., by the officer in-charge of this scheme.

Poultry Development: Poultry-keeping, particularly in the rural areas well connected with markets, provides a source of subsidiary income to the cultivators and agricultural labourers. The poultry schemes propagated by the extension officers for animal husbandry, stockmen and the gramsevaks are now well received by the people. Courses of short duration of about a week or so are organised to impart training in poultry-keeping. A provision is also made in the budgets of panchayat samitis and of the animal husbandry department to give financial assistance in the form of loans and subsidies to the needy persons for the purchase of eggs, improved cocks, breeding equipment and for the improvement of poultry houses.

There is one intensive poultry development block at Sholapur and one poultry breeding station at Kurduwadi in Madha taluka under the State sector. There are two poultry demonstration centres at Sholapur and Sangola for extension of improved poultry to the cultivators. These centres are under the charge of live-stock supervisors who demonstrate rearing of poultry on scientific lines and economic basis to the cultivators. These centres have supplied 3,299 birds and 759 hatching eggs to the poultry farmers and ninety persons were trained by these centres during the year 1968-69.

In this district there are three blocks under applied nutrition programme and Netherland scheme. Under the crash programme 85 loans of Rs. 1,000 each with Rs. 250 as subsidy have been distributed among the interested cultivators for the upkeep of poultry. Similarly, nineteen loans of Rs. 5,000 each have been distributed and 46 loans of Rs. 750 each have been given for the eggs collection scheme functioning at Pandharpur. There are two co-operative poultry farms in this district and broiler raising is finding its proper place in the poultry development programme in the district.

Poultry had once become very popular, but now the popularity has decreased due to the losses suffered by small poultry owners. However, the rural poultry farming around Pandharpur, Sangola, Mangalwedha, Malshiras and Madha has been well established due to the long-standing efforts of animal husbandry department and eggs collection in this part is perhaps the largest in the State. As per 1972 census there were 6,03,845 poultry birds in the district

Piggery development: There is one co-operative piggery development society functioning in the district. Piggery is quite a new trend in this district and it may develop very soon as the people are anxious to take to this new trend due to the large profits and quick returns involved therein.

Dairy development: In a predominantly agricultural economy, dairy development has an important role to play. The programme of dairy development in the district aims to provide hygienically-processed milk to people at reasonable rates and also to provide a subsidiary occupation to farmers. In accordance with the above objectives, two schemes, namely, town milk supply scheme at Sholapur and assistance to milk unions and federations are being implemented during the Fourth Five-Year Plan.

Town Milk Supply Scheme, Sholapur: This scheme is in operation at Sholapur since the Second Five-Year Plan. An amount of Rs. 5.83 lakhs is expected to be spent and twelve thousand litres of milk per day is likely to be handled by the end of Fourth Plan period. The following table gives information regarding target of milk to be handled per day and the quantity of milk actually handled per day, under the scheme, during the Fourth Plan period:-

TOWN MILK SUPPLY SCHEME, SHOLAPUR

(Litres per day in thousands)

Year

Target

Actuals

Year

Target

Actuals

1969-70

8

5

1972-73

11

12

1970-71

10

9

1973-74

20

12

1971-72

10

11

 

(anticipated)

The proposed outlay for the Fifth Plan is of Rs. 23.09 lakhs. Out of this, an amount of Rs. 1.65 lakhs will be spent on completion of incomplete work of ten staff quarters and compound wall around main building. Rs. 0.44 lakh will be utilised for construction of twenty-two booths in Sholapur City.

Town Milk Supply Scheme Expansion Programme: It is proposed to establish milk chilling plants at Pandharpur and Akluj at a cost of Rs. 9.50 lakhs for each plant. Similarly, a provision of Rs. 2.00 lakhs has been made for Chilling Depot at Akkalkot.

Chilling Plant at Pandharpur: A chilling plant at Pandharpur will receive milk from the talukas such as Pandharpur, Madha, Sangola and Mohol. It is estimated that 10,000 litres of milk per day will be procured during the Plan period.

Chilling Plant at Akluj: Malshiras is also a taluka having good milk potential. It is expected that a quantity of 1,000 litres per day would become available. For chilling the milk so collected, a chilling plant at Akluj has been proposed to be established.

The amount of Rs. 19.00 lakhs provided for the above two plants will be utilised for purchase of machinery, equipment, acquisition of land and construction of buildings for plants.

Chilling Depot at Akkalkot: Considering the potentialities of milk from Akkalkot taluka, it is estimated that about 2,000 litres of milk per day can be procured. The milk thus collected from rural areas will be chilled at the proposed depot at Akkalkot and then the milk will be transported to Sholapur for further processing. Rs. 2.00 lakhs proposed for this depot will be utilised for purchase of vehicles and machinery.

Assistance to Milk Unions and Federation: Object of this scheme is to organise co-operatives of milk producers, for collection of milk and to supply it to Government collection centres. There were 39 dairy societies in the district by the end of 1972-73. An amount of Rs. 0.95 lakh was expected to be spent by the end of Fourth Five-Year Plan.

An amount of Rs. 0.55 lakh was provided in the Fifth Plan for giving assistance to twenty-four milk unions in the form of managerial subsidy.

Share capital contribution to dairy co-operative societies for purchase of milch cattle: This is a new scheme undertaken in the Fifth Plan. Under this scheme, it is proposed to give share capital contribution to 25 dairy co-operative societies with an outlay of Rs. 2.50 lakhs to enable small holders in dry areas to purchase milch cattle. This will enable the seva societies to obtain loan from the Co-operative Bank to supply milch cattle to small holders in dry areas to the tune of Rs. 25.00 lakhs.

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