AGRICULTURE AND IRRIGATION

LIVE-STOCK

Live-stock occupies an important place in the agricultural economy of the district. It also constitutes one of the farmer's most coveted possessions. As the existing conditions of agriculture in India afford little scope for the use of mechanical devices for agricultural operations, cattle labour has to be largely relied upon. Draught power required for agricultural operations such as ploughing, harrowing, drawing water for irrigation, transport, etc., is derived mainly from bullocks. Cows are a source of milk which is highly in demand. Live-stock also provides much of the organic manure used on the farms. Hence a pair of bullocks for draught and a cow or buffalo for milk and manure are to be commonly found with a large number of farmers. Further, in rural areas a farmer's status is judged by the number of cattle be maintains. In fact no farmer can do farming economically without the aid of live-stock. Table No. 22 gives comparative statistics of bovine population in Amravati District in 1951, 1956 and 1961 while table No. 23 gives taluka-wise distribution of live-stock in Amravati district in 1961.

TABLE No. 22

BOVINE POPULATION IN AMRAVATI DISTRICT IN 1951, 1956 AND 1961

Classification of Cattle

Cow class

Buffalo class

1951

1956

1961

1951

1956

1961

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

Male (Over 3 years) -

--

--

--

--

--

--

Breeding bulls

1,000

1,826

2,910

3,221

415

449

Working bulls

35,252

42,976

59,425

201

223

274

Other bulls

1,025

1,099

1,157

--

--

260

Females (Over 3 years)-

--

--

--

--

--

--

In milk

32,720

36,952

37,098

7,239

7,679

9,188

Dry

16,722

19,979

20,295

2,658

2,972

3,772

Not calved

2,758

3,120

3,099

7,367

9,844

1,187

For work

799

1.088

1,100

100

102

117

Others

134

179

220

50

50

45

Young stock-

--

--

--

--

--

--

Under 1 year Males.

14,969

1 7,002

1 7,487

500

529

596

Females

15,163

16,105

18,596

2,005

2,177

2,943

1 to 3 years-

--

--

--

--

--

--

Males

28,639

31,523

32,359

8,955

11,672

13,061

Females

272

2,921

3,931

9,219

9,312

11,179

Total

1,49,458

1,74,776

1,94,950

41,515

44,973

43,071

TABLE No. 23

DISTRIBUTION OF LIVE-STOCK IN AMRAVATI DISTRICT (TALUKA-WIS'E), 1961

Taluka

Bovines over 3 years

For work

For breeding

For other purposes

Oxen

He-buffaloes

Bulls

He-buffaloes

Oxen

He-buffaloes

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

(7)

Morshi

21,650

150

2,629

260

600

230

Amravati

37,775

124

204

189

557

30

Daryapur

37,955

97

103

39

474

22

Melghat

26,802

207

326

33

9

89

Achalpur

15,424

25

92

89

1,842

129

Chandur

34,941

41

387

214

2,006

69

 

Taluka

Milch cattle

In milk

Dry

Others

Cows

She-buffaloes

Cows

She-buffaloes

Cows

She-buffaloes

(1)

(8)

(9)

(10)

(11)

(12)

(13)

Morshi

21,755

4,340

6,131

1,163

502

92

Amravati

15,343

4,848

14,164

2,609

652

77

Daryapur

18,640

5,741

1,349

1,825

152

134

Melghat

6,01 7

1,306

8,116

1,952

916

103

Achalpur

6,950

5,907

6,778

4,115

3,575

3,275

Chandur

15,564

6,934

19,482

5, 077

2,000

2,405

Taluka

Young Stock

Total bovines

Horses and Ponies

Sheep

Goats

Others

Cow calves

Buffalo calves

(1)

(14)

(15)

(16)

(17)

(18)

(19)

(20)

Morshi

21,170

2,842

83,514

1,102

3,908

15,339

1,419

Amravati

37,965

6,350

123,470

1,162

10,780

26,565

1,986

Daryapur

22,455

3,713

92,700

2,164

20,914

37,173

6,222

Melghat

11,374

2,169

59,419

293

--

11,339

7,939

Achalpur

13,742

3,758

65,198

.691

10.248

13,836

25,953

Chandur

20,804

5,179

114,003

841

7,497

27,635

22,098

According to Captain Meadows, " the Province of Berar con-tains the finest draught cattle in India". It is impossible to say what particular breed he referred to. In Amravati district there are three breeds of cattle: (1) The Umarda or Gaorani breed, (2) The Khamgaon breed, and (3) the Ghat or Pahari breed. Of these, Umarda cattle are considered the most suitable for the plains, whereas the Chat cattle do better in the hilly tracts.

Umarda breed.

The Umarda breed is divided into two well defined types which are said to differ in colour only. The bullock of this breed is of medium size and is white or red in colour. The body is compact; the head is well placed and broad between the eyes; the forehead is slightly concave: the horns are of medium size; the muzzle is broad and usually dark in colour; the nostrils are large; the neck is short and thick with a rather small dewlap: the back is straight and the hump of ordinary size. The animal is well proportioned, active and keen-spirited. The breed is very hardy, and a pair will trot 30 to 40 miles a day. Cattle of this breed are common in Amravati, Achalpur, Daryapur and Chandur tahsils.

Khamgaon breed.

The Khamgaon cattle are seen mostly in Daryapur tahsil where the soil is deep and heavy to work. This breed is the largest and strongest of the Berar breeds, and is well suited for heavy work on black cotton soil. The typical Khamgaon bullock is a big bony animal with mixed colours, the general colour being red or tanned red mixed with white. His hoofs, muzzle, horns and inside of the ears are of a chocolate colour; forehead is broad and slightly convex, the muzzle fine and the hump well developed, horns are of medium length and rather thick at the base. The Khamgaon bullock is round in the barrel and altogether a strong, massive animal. As a trotter he is inferior to the Umarda breed, and is fatigued earlier. As a strong draught animal he is well suited for working in heavy soils.

Melghat breed.

The Melghat or Pahari bullocks are smaller but active and hardy. They are well suited for the conditions of the hilly tracts. The forehead is straight with a vertical depression midway. The limbs are strong and well apart. The pelvis is rather lean and narrow and the dewlap small.

Ever since the boom of land prices and prices of agricultural commodities, more and more of the fallow lands and cultarable waste lands, which were formerly available for pastures have been brought under cultivation. Consequently the cultivator has been compelled to reduce the number of his cattle and to provide a daily supply of fodder for his working bullocks. The cultivator finds it more profitable to produce agricultural goods than to rear cattle. This has created a shortage of good cattle.

Buffaloes.

There are two breeds of buffaloes in the district, the Gaorani or Nagpur breed, and the Malwa breed. The former are distinguished by their long horns that sweep back over the neck, the Malwa buffaloes are smaller and their horns shorter and  slightly crumpled. Gavalis keep buffaloes in herds. Jowar  stalks, grass and cotton seed are fed to them. An average  buffalo in this district yields five to six seers of milk.

Diseases of Cattle.

Epidemics among cattle are very common, and as no care is  taken to segregate diseased animals at the first appearance of an  outbreak, infection spreads fast in a herd. The diseases most prevalent in this district are rinderpest, foot-and-mouth disease, malignant sore throat and pleuro-pneumonia. Other bovine ailments such as hoven diarrhoea and dysentery are common in the district.

Rinderpest is a common disease, but young buffaloes especially are liable to it. An animal attacked by it generally dies within a week. The curative measures consist of feeding the animal with ghee, mug, and rice water. Inoculation for rinderpest is practised. Foot-and-mouth disease is very common. The animal attacked by it is made to stand in mud and dikamali (resin of Gardenia lucida) boiled in linseed or til oil is rubbed on the sores of the feet. If there are ulcers on the tongue, they are treated with alum powder. Should the hoofs split, the animal becomes lame for life, but the disease is not fatal.

The rate of cattle mortality has been reduced to some extent due to the availability of veterinary facilities in the district.

Sources of Live-stock.

The district neither exports nor imports live-stock. The main source of cattle to the farmers is from the weekly markets. However, some animals of pure breed are imported from distant places in the State for use in key village centres and cattle breeding farms and for improving the local progeny at farms. The important cattle markets in the district are located at Amravati, Badnera, Morshi, Rajura, Chandur Railway, Shendurjana, Achalpur and Chandur Bazar.

Products.

The main live-stock products in the district comprise milk, eggs, wool, manures, skins and hides. The following table gives the average output per head of cow, buffalo, chicken, cattle, sheep and goat and the estimated value of the products thereof. It should, however, be noted that the statistics are based upon certain estimates, and no accuracy is claimed for them.

TABLE No. 24

Products

Average output (per head) per annum

Total products

Estimated value

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

--

Kg.

Kg.

Rs.

Cow milk

181.200 (400 lbs.)

11,628,872.400 (25,670,800 lbs.)

84,98,196

Buffalo milk

385.050 (850 lbs.)

8,545,414.650 (18,864,050 lbs.)

1,66,00,364

TABLE No. 24-cont.

Products

Average output (per head) per annum

Total products

Estimated value

--

Kg.

Kg.

Rs.

Eggs

24.915 (55 lbs.)

1,701,420.435 (3,755,895 lbs.)

7,51,179

Manure (bovine)

6 cart-loads.

34,97,066 cart-loads.

1,73,85,330

Manure (ovine)

cart-loads.

94,291 cart-loads.

7, 54,320

Hides of cattle

--

47,539

2,37,695

Skins of bovines

--

46,743

46,743

Wool

0.680 (1 lbs.)

35,347.590 (78,030 lbs.)

1,56,060

Fodder-supply.

The district is self-sufficient in fodder-supply. The cultivators produce fodder in their farms. The fodder and cattle feed consist mainly of Kadbi, grass, stalks from groundnut crop, Kutar prepared from the leaves and stalks of wheat, bajra and tur, etc. Udid grains, cotton-seeds and groundnut cake are served as concentrated feeding to cattle.

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