Jammu, Aug 21 (ANI): Fodder is scarcer, dearer in Jammu leaving the milkmen with little to feed their cattle. It has led to decline in milk production.
Continuous dry spell in the region is said to be responsible for the unprecedented hike in price of fodder especially wheat straw commonly known commonly as 'Bussa'.
Rising prices have taken animal fodder out of the reach of the milkmen.
Wheat straw that was generally available in the market between rupees 1 to 2 per kg is currently being sold at rupees 8 per kg, four times higher than its original price.
"We are in trouble. We don't get any fodder. The available fodder is sold at rate of 8-10 rupees per kg. Once I went to Gangyal, a place in Jammu, I return empty hand from there too. Cattle had to remain hungry," said Ahamed Din, a milkman.
The scarcity of fodder has also resulted in decline of milk production as milkmen find it difficulty to provide their livestock with the high protein diet.
Even the fodder sellers agree that there is a scarcity of fodder.
"Availability of fodder is very less so Gujjars are facing a lot of problems. They are unable to increase milk production because cattle are not being feed fodder. The fodder is expensive," said Rajendra Gupta, a fodder store owner.
Wheat straw is currently being imported to Jammu from Punjab due to which traders are charging exorbitant prices.
Animal fodder includes hay, straw, silage, compressed and pelleted feeds, oils and mixed rations, and also sprouted grains and legumes. By Nadeem Khan (ANI)