Jul 19, 2017:
A Rajasthan minister has sounded an ominous warning: if immediate steps were not taken to increase the production of milk of indigenous cows, the day is not far away when it would be sold through medical stores.
“Health conscious people prefer to drink cow’s milk. However, the milk available in the market is of exotic and crossbred cows such as Jersey and Holstein and not of indigenous breeds such as Rathi, Tharparkar, and Gir. The milk of indigenous cows is rich in A2 beta casein protein, while that of crossbred cows has A1 beta casein protein, which is not as healthy as A2,” Prabhu Lal Saini, state minister for agriculture and animal husbandry, said.
“The demand for indigenous cow’s milk is more because of its qualities, but the supply is very less. If cow milk production is not increased, then a day will come soon when it will be sold in bottles in medical stores,” the minister said.
This is not the first time when Saini has extolled the virtues of the indigenous breeds over foreign-bred cows. “The source of α-amino acids in indigenous cow’s milk, which is also found in mother’s milk, is extremely beneficial in preventing cancer, curing high blood pressure, helping in digestion, and also for diabetes patients,” he had earlier said.
The minister also offered a solution to those rearing cows. To increase milk production, farmers need to pay attention to improving the breed, timely treatment of the bovines and ensuring them proper feed, he said.
“Farmers need to pay attention towards rearing indigenous breeds of cow along with agriculture, so that their income increases,” Saini said, adding “cattle rearing will play an important role in fulfilling the vision of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and chief minister Vasundhara Raje to double the income of farmers by 2020.”
The minister said that the animal husbandry department is informing farmers on rearing indigenous cow breeds.
Rajasthan is home to 1.16 crore indigenous cows as per 19th livestock census 2012. According to Rajasthan Cooperative Dairy Federation (RCDF( sources total milk production in the state in 2015-16 was 4.55 crore litres per day, of which 50 per cent is marketable surplus, while the rest is kept for personal use by farmers. It means, 2.27 crore litres of milk reaches market every day of which RCDF purchases 11-12%. Of the total milk produced per day, 40% (1.82 crore litres) is cow’s milk. The major cow milk belt is Bikaner, Ganganagar, Jodhpur and Hanumangarh.