Delayed monsoon leads to scarcity of fodder in Punjab

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Firozepur (Punjab), July 4 (ANI): Monsoon may have brought in relief in some parts of country, but there are still many places, which are parched and waiting for first showers. Firozpur in Punjab is one such agrarian village waiting to be soaked in monsoon showers.

The villagers here are mainly engaged in farming and dairy production. Selling milk is one of the main sources of income for farmers in the village.

Delayed monsoon, coupled with soaring temperature, had dried many water sources leading to severe water crisis. This has directly affected grasslands and farming areas, creating a scarcity of green fodder for cattle.

Jasbeer Singh, a milkman, said his buffalos are now giving less milk as they are not getting any green fodder.

"Because of the lack of green fodder the cattle have become weak. There is no green grass to feed them and it has reduced their capacity of giving milk. Earlier they used to give about 10 litres of milk now it has come down to 3-4 litres a time. It has been really hot. Along with other crops, green grass has also dried," he added.

Since there is either very less or no green grass, farmers have to feed dry fodder mainly bought from the market. This is not a desirable situation for farmers who shell out more money to buy fodder than what they earn by selling milk.

Manjeet Singh, a dairy owner, says, "We are feeding dry fodder instead of green grass. Buying fodder 16-17 Rupees a kilogramme is very expensive for us. It is costing our business a lot."

In summers, not only green fodder becomes scarce, the cattle also catch a range of diseases due to the loss of water from their bodies.

Veterinary doctor Raj Kumar said, "Increasing temperature leads to dehydration in animals. It affects the productivity of cattle to produce milk and catch various diseases. Cattle should be given a lot of water about 5-6 times a day. They should be bathed in the morning and evening so that they don't get heat stroke and other diseases."

The woes of farmers and cattle are expected to end when monsoon brings a fresh spell of showers. By Avtar Gill (ANI)

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