Jorhat, May 7: A businessman, who has achieved success in dairy farming, has now authored a handbook on cattle rearing which he will distribute free of cost to farmers.
Muralidhar Gattani, the author, said he hoped the shortfall in the dairy sector would be made up once farmers take to dairy farming after being inspired by the book. The book is on the A to Z of rearing cows and the benefits of its products.
According to the Indian Council of Medical Research, the milk requirement per person is 280gm a day but in Assam, production is only about 75gm per person. Jorhat produces 1.1 lakh litres of milk everyday, however, there is a shortfall of 1 lakh litres daily and the milk produced in Golaghat is 70,000 litres per day, leaving a shortfall of 50,000 litres daily.
“I have received very good response to the book and almost everyday I get calls for more copies,” he said.
Gattani has so far printed 60,000 copies and distributed them in Karanga, Napamua, Charigaon and a few other places in Jorhat district. Today, distribution is on in some parts of Majuli.
Gattani said distribution would soon be taken up in other districts as well starting with Tinsukia and Dibrugarh in Upper Assam.
The 41-page booklet, translated into Assamese by Raja Chakravorty with illustrations, covers all aspects of rearing cows.
Stressing that rural India is heavily dependent on bullocks for ploughing fields even today, Gattani said cows were the backbone of the country and dairy farming in addition to agriculture can increase the income of households as well as provide much needed nutrition to families living in villages.
“The nutritional value of milk and its products like curd, paneer and cream have already been acknowledged and the importance of rearing cattle cannot be underscored,” he said.
Gattani added that the soil has been heavily depleted of its fertility after addition of chemical fertilisers and an easy remedy is mixing cow dung to bring back the natural fertility and increase yield.
“We often speak of organic farming but organic produce is found to be more costly than those made with chemical fertilisers. One of the reasons for this is the less availability of cow dung.
Gattani detailed how 15 to 20 per cent water should be added to the dung for maximum benefit to the soil. The handbook also detailed how to construct sheds and protect the cows from diseases and fleas, pests and their feed and hygiene.