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Fodder shortage hits milk production

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Shortage of fodder has hit milk production in Tiruchi and neighbouring districts.

Besides Tiruchi, Perambalur, Ariyalur and Karur districts are known for their milch cattle farms. These districts are among the highest milk suppliers to the State owned Aavin through the Tiruchi District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union. A few private diaries also procure milk from farmers in the four districts.

Farmers lament that the persisting drought condition has caused a telling effect on milk production. Though fodder is available in the market, farmers say that nothing can match the green fodder needed for maintaining the health of milch animals. But, green pastures have become scarce in Tiruchi, Karur, Ariyalur and Perambalur districts due to the prolonged drought. Thus, leading to a dip in milk production. Cattle-rearers who had struggled to withstand the crisis caused by 2016 drought are finding themselves in a state of helplessness. As against the normal rainfall of 193 mm up to July 27 from January, Tiruchi district has received 162 mm. During the South-west monsoon, the district had received just 29.39 mm as against the usual 54.30 mm.

The Tiruchi District Cooperative Milk Producers’ Union, on an average procures about 4.80 lakh litres in July. But, the milk procurement has come down by about 50,000 litres.

“There has been a decline in milk procurement when compared to the corresponding period last year. However, it is on expected lines,” a senior officer of Aavin, Tiruchi, told The Hindu . Though the demand has gone up for milk in the market, the private dairy farms too are facing poor milk procurement.

“The milk production has gone down by about 20% due to scarcity of natural green fodder and drinking water. We expected some rainy days during South-west monsoon but it has also turned into a damp squib,” said J. Madhan Mohan of Vijay Dairy in Tiruchi.


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