Rajasthan farmers unable to feed cattle due to rising fodder prices

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Jaipur, Nov. 13 (ANI): Farmers in Rajasthan are facing difficult times because of unaffordable fodder prices as a result of a 'dry spell' in the state.

"It is a very difficult period for the farmer. In such a situation, he is in a dilemma whether to look after the kids or the animals first. A rich farmer would still somehow manage but for a poor farmer it would be a helpless situation," said Abdul Sabab, a farmer.

People have even started abandoning their cattle. There are reports of animals dying of hunger and thirst. The situation is worst in the North West districts of Rajasthan.

Experts say Rajasthan is facing three types of droughts- livestock, agricultural and water.

"The state is facing three kinds of droughts; it is not only battling with agricultural drought in the form of no fodder for animals but is also facing livestock drought along with water drought. The situation is very bad," said M. S Rathore, an environmentalist.

Rathore says the government should come up with a plan to help the farmers.

"The government needs to do a regional planning of the livestock available. Earlier we used to have traditional fodder banks in villages. The government must make sure that through community mobilisation it is again able to motivate the farmers to adopt the system of traditional fodder banks in the villages," he added.

Around 2.5 crore metric ton of fodder is required to feel cattle in Rajasthan every year. According to the 2007 census, the total live stock population in Rajasthan was around 5.78 crore. (ANI)

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