Nagpur: If Gir breed has been the center of attraction amidst the government’s focus on indigenous cows, Then there’s the NDDB doing the same thing for farmers in Marathwada and Vidarbha, pretty much its lesser-known cousin.
The Rathi breed of Bikaner in Rajasthan may not have got full fame as Gir at all. But National Dairy Development Board feels that it can be much better suited for the regions of Marathwada and Vidarbha. Both regions are arid, providing a very ideal climatic condition for the breed.
A source has also said that since there is a mandate to promote Indian breeds, Because, Rathi has been found to be more suited to the climate of the Marathwada and Vidarbha regions. Both these regions have a dry climate and open grazing land for the summer.
It started in 2018 with 3 cows brought from Bikaner to the villages of Wardha and Amravati districts. About 200 cows were procured for private farms in Amravati and Nagpur with the help of the National Dairy Development Board, after initial success.
Cows and buffalo breeding
With unique features such as the turning horn, red coat, and rounded head, the Gir breed has also become a craze among some enthusiasts amid promotions on native bovines. On the other hand, the Rathi breed has a flat forehead, straight face, and short horns, a National Dairy Development Board source said. They are usually in patches as well as a full black or brown coat.
Gir has been in the Vidarbha region for decades with the migrant herders of Saurashtra. The official has said that the cow can be found here but the breed can perform very well in the humid climate like the coastal region of Saurashtra. Rathi is used in dry pockets. Although there is no prejudice against Gir at all.
Activist Sajal Kulkarni has emphasized that attention should also be paid to the local breeds found in different districts. Many are not even registered at all. Along with cows, buffalo breeding also needs a lot of attention.
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