KOZHIKODE: Dairy farmers in the state can now be assured about the quality of the cow they purchase.
In a bid to weed out exploitative middlemen and make cow purchases more reliable, the Malabar Rural Development Foundation (MRDF) under Milma is setting up a quarantine facility and farm for cows near the Kerala-Tamil Nadu border in Palakkad, which will be complete with veterinary medical testing facilities.
The MRDF will procure cows from Tamil Nadu and house the animals in the facility for 21 days during which they will be screened for diseases apart from certifying their milk yield before they are sold to farmers.
Veterinary experts associated with the MRDS said that keeping the animals at the facility for three weeks would also allow the cows to be get acclimatised to Kerala climate.
Ragil B K, chief executive officer of the MRDF, said the initiative was aimed to protect the farmers from the pitfalls and unreliability associated with prevailing modes of cow purchase from cattle markets.
“Majority of the cows reaching the state are from cattle markets in Tamil Nadu and are bought through middlemen. Currently, there is no proper quality control mechanism. The dairy farmers do not have an opportunity to scientifically verify the health condition or even the yield of the cow. They make the crucial purchase decision trusting the word of the middlemen and often get duped,” he added.
MRDF officials said under the project, the foundation would procure cows from outside the state through competitive tender and the animals would be tested for quality and yield of milk by qualified vets at the facility to be set up in 10- acres near the state border.
Once the animal is certified as disease-free and the milk yield verified, the details of the animals, along with its photograph, will be uploaded in the MRDF’s online cattle trade platform pasukkada.com.
Also, dairy farmers and societies can visit the facility directly and buy the cows directly from the MRDF.
Dr. Rahul Ravi, assistant manager (animal husbandry division) of the MRDF, said the farm and quarantine facility would be ready in one month.
As there had been issues relating to blood parasite infections in cows bought from other states, the blood tests of the animals would also be done before they were sold to farmers, he said.
“The facility will initially have the capacity to accommodate 35 animals at a time and it can be expanded to house 100 animals. Apart from sales to individual farmers, we hope that we can supply quality cows provided under various government schemes,” he said.