The rare cattle breeds brought under the roof of ‘Gramadarshanam 2014,’ an agriculture seminar and exhibition of indigenous cattle breeds at Atholi Biopark, Kozhikode were a real treat to the eyes. Taking it as a rare opportunity, people from across the district thronged the exhibition stalls to have a look at the natives. The programme was organised by Earth Care Foundation, near Atholi Biopark.
“This programme can be considered as an attempt to save endangered species from extinction,” says chairman of Earth Care Foundation, P V Krishnan Kutty. Elaborating more on the programme he says, “To our wonder, housewives were seen enthusiastic about dairy farming. Almost all the visitors expressed their desire to be dairy farmers,” he says.Vechur cow, the smallest cattle breed in the world which was nominated for the Guinness Book of World Records, is a major attraction at the exhibition. “I have only heard about the rare breed.
I got the opportunity to know more about it at the exhibition,” says Radhamani, a visitor. The Kasaragod Dwarf breed, a little taller than the world’s smallest breed Vechur, a native of Kerala, Cheruvally cattle, indigenous to Cheruvally, Mundakkayam and Kanjirappally regions of Kottayam district, Ponwar cow, a draught cattle breed and a native of Pilibhit district of Uttar Pradesh, Kangeyam cow that derived its name from Kangeyam taluk in Tamil Nadu, were some of the few breeds on display.
“There is an increasing trend among the rich these days to own cows. Most of them prefer to have Vechur and Kasargod Dwarf, while some of them are very particular about having Ponkanoor cow in their cattlesheds,” says N V Balakrishnan, who had exhibited his cow at the exhibition.He owns around 12 varieties of cows. The organisers have put forward a lucrative offer of giving a first-hand experience to visitors interested in cattle rearing. Those coming with a recommendation letter from the representatives of local governing bodies can look after a native breed for a fixed period. Based on the satisfaction level they can either buy the breed or give it back to the Earth Care Foundation.
Vadakara Dwarf, Malanad Gidda, Ponkanoor cow, Khilari “There used to be not so many takers for indigenous breeds earlier. With the awareness spread on the quality of these breeds, there has been a considerable demand for them,” says Padmanabhan Ooralunkal, general convenor. With the confidence gained through the first exhibition, the organisers say that in the coming years also Gramadarshanam will be conducted in Atholi.
Written By Aswathi Krishna – THIRUVANANTHAPURAM