Punjab is one of the most important contributors and front-runner in the white revolution in the country. It ranks 5th Milk production in all the Indian states. This could be due to an increased production of milk in Punjab due to technological change in breeding and feeding practices. In Punjab, about 70% of the production comes from the bovine stock and their milk, when the crops fail.
In relation to it, however, global warming is expected to lead to warmer and more intense summers of varying intensity of climate events. This has had a significant impact on livestock productivity and therefore not known animal products such as milk because of the high mortality and competition for limited fodder and water resources. With rise in temperature and humidity, stress in animals has been increasing leading to the incidence of various animal diseases. It is also believed that a rise in temperature by 2-4 ° C will cut milk production by more than 15 million tons, according to India’s communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. So, it is important to manage heat stress for animals to achieve sustainable milk production in such conditions.
Considering immediate challenges for sustainability of milk productivity and reproduction as extreme temperatures occur in the future to summon in the future, it is necessary to manage livestock production for small and marginal farmers. Therefore, a project titled “Climate Resilient Livestock Production System in Punjab” is being run by the “National Adaptation Fund for Climate Change (NAFCC)” with an objective to promote livestock production under heat stress conditions in a climate friendly housing and environment. National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) is a supervising firm for a project that has sanctioned Rs 17.398 crore for the project period of five years. This project is helpful in providing eco-friendly environment to animals that will help in increasing productivity of animals and thus help farmers to boost their financial status.
In Punjab, as per the statistics, the districts of Tarn Taran, Bathinda and Ludhiana recorded temperatures in excess of 40oC and in 2015, they recorded around 45oC. This project has recently started in 3 districts of Punjab ie Bathinda, Ludhiana and Taran taran as extreme changes have been seen recently in these districts. This project will help 3000 small and marginal farmers with 1-2 hectares of landholding and 5-10 dairy animals. The other aim of this project is also to participate in the participation of women in which about 30% beneficiaries will be women. For achieving this aim, in the districts of Bathinda, Ludhiana and Taran taran, harboring cattle sheds 10 and 5 (Fig.1 and Fig.2) animals would be constructed in selected villages of these districts. Innovative 300 climate resilient sheds (100 sheds) At each of the 3 districts (at the farmer’s level) and 10-15 demonstrative sheds at the government institution level will be constructed.
The design for these animal sheds has been prepared by Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU), Ludhiana, Punjab. For this, the farmers must have their own land and at least 5-6 indigenous breed animals. Along with this, the government has also proposed 75% subsidy on the total cost of construction of these sheds. Apart from this, a set of 10 trainings would be carried out on pre-insemination and post-insemination of cattle across 100 village project districts.
The indigenous dairy animals like Murrah / Nili Ravi buffaloes and Sahiwal cattle would be improved by artificial insemination in superior germplasm in Punjab.
The problem of repeated breeding in buffaloes and cattle will be reduced as animals are kept under climatic controlled environment.
The project involves sustained livestock productivity throughout the year through technologies such as artificial insemination and estrus management, targeting small and marginal farmers.
Heat tolerant cattle sheds will be designed to enhance livestock performance during heat stress conditions. The sheds will also be made tick free, which is one of the major concerns affecting the cattle health in Punjab.
This project also proposes development of a model cattle pond with climate resilient features for 2000 stray cattle in a district of Punjab (Tarn Taran). The gaushala / cattle pond will have provisions of drought resistant fodder, water through rainwater harvesting structures, solar energy through setting up solar plants, biogas generation through setting up bio-gas plants.
This activity will prevent the animals from risking existing and emerging diseases. A disease forecasting system providing a correlation between disease occurrence and changes in climate and vegetation cover etc. will be developed in line with the National Disease Forecasting System ‘National Animal Diseases Referral Expert System (NADRES)’.
Punjab would be the pioneer state to develop weather linked insurance for assessing compensation for small and marginal farmers due to loss in livestock yield. It has been proposed that the technical support from an insurance agency will be taken for designing the product.
One 10 animal shed was built for owner Sh. Raja Singh S / o Balwant Singh, VPO Chak Ram Singh Wala, Distt. Bathinda, Punjab. His farm was visited and the owner was contacted for the benefits of the shed. He said he had 5 buffaloes and 2 cattle to be reared under this shed. Earlier he was facing the problem of various diseases like mastitis, ticks etc and his shed was constructed with no proper shed orientation. But now with these sheds, the farmer had observed that the problem of tick infestation and repeated breeding was reduced on his farm and milk production was also improved. This could be due to the climatic controlled shed.
Dr. Mandeep Singh
Veterinary Officer, Veterinary Polytechnic & Regional Research Training Center,