Friday, December 2, 2016

Farmers throng sewage farm to feed livestock

Unmindful of the chill weather, farmers can be found standing in long queue along with their bullock carts in front of sewage farm to purchase fodder from early morning. The demand for grass has surge from last one month following drought. An average everyday 150 to 200 farmers are approaching the sewage farm located near Vidyaranyapuram to purchase the grass for livestocks. 

More than 25,000 kg of fodder has been sold in last ten days. ‘Shunti’ and ‘Napier Grass’ are the two varieties of fodder grown in the farm. The grass grown in the 120 acres of land is sold for Rs 30 for 100 kgs.
Grass is harvested minimum eight times every year in the sewage farm. Usually those graze cows, sheep in urban areas used to purchase grass in large amount from sewage farm every year and there used to be sufficient stock. But this year the farm is running short of stock with huge demand from farming sector.

In the last two weeks more than 200 quintal of grass has been sold. The fodders are rich in proteins, and by feeding the fodder for dairy cows, it helps the animal to increase the milk production. Farmers from Sollepura, Koorgalli, Sallundi, Belavadi, Yaraganahalli, Kurubarahalli, Utanahalli, Kadakola, Gopalpura, and several other surrounding villages the farmers are heading towards the sewage farm to purchase the grass.

The Mysuru City Corporation has generated a revenue of Rs 6 lakh this year with sale of fodder, which is either around Rs 4.5 lakh during non-drought years.
Sewage Farm Maintenance in-charge Boregowda said: ‘There is huge demand for grass this year, but we are not able to meet the demand. The farmers are  transporting grass in bullock carts, autos, tractors.  We are able to manage till Monday with the existing stock, and farmers have to wait till next March to again purchase grass. In summer we can harvest grass for 25 days, whereas in winter grass cant be grown. By feeding this fodder farmer can obtain high milk yields,’ he added.

Chikkegowdana Hundi farmer Shivashankar said: ‘We are facing severe shortage of fodder to feed livestocks following drought. Since last one year we are unable to grow fodder in our agriculture lands. The collected 100 kg of fodder can be managed hardly for a week and again we have to arrange from other sources. It has become challenging to manage sufficient food for livestocks. Fodder banks are yet to be opened in our villages.’

Mayor Bhyrappa said that huge demand is witnessed for grass this year. With no water to grow fodder in the fields the demand has increased. We have harvested the grass completely, and farmers have to wait till February for next harvesting. Earlier the grass was grown in 360 acres of lands with distribution of land for various purpose we are presently growing only in 120 acres.

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