127 years old Military farms are being closed by Govt, Save Military Farms and Save Cows
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1. This is against Govt orders to close down 39 Military farms of Army in coming three months
2. These Mil Dairy Farms were established 127 years back in 1889 by British Indian Army primarily to supply hygienic milk to troops and Hay to cavalary.
3. Encouraged by very successful results of these organised farms, run with commercial accounting system, with the mandate of producing and supplying of highest quality fresh milk, at rates cheaper than market, to ensure no additional cost to army for this function,these farms were started at new locations throughout the undivided country. They played a very important role during World War I and II by supplying milk products to offshore locations, where Indian army was deployed. The new farms continued to be opened in North East and J & K even later. These were areas where there was no dairying activity.
4. Although Britishers had no religious sentiments to promote and protect cows, but they displayed great vision in this direction and created the dept. of dairying under Min of Agri by giving one Mil farms officer on deputation as Imperial Dairy Expert along with three Military farms in 1923 to start training of Indians in Dairy farming NDRI under ICAR which is the leading dairying research Institute of the country is a erstwhile Military farm at Karnal,Similary Amul of today is also erstwhile butter factory setup by Mil farms during first war (1914-1918).
5. Unfortunately the Indian Generals lacked the similar vision of national perspective to utilise Mil farms and integrate them with national Dairy development activities in the same manner as Britishers had done. Inspite of this lack of support and interest both by Army hierarchy and also Min of defence who saw nothing beyond tanks and Guns, the national commission on Agriculture 1976 strongly praised,the work of Mil farms and envisaged a great role for them. This resulted in a collaborative project of a cow breed named Friesuwal in 1986 in collaboration with Min of Agri (ICAR). Evolving of a breed in a massive project of long duration requiring huge cost and dedication as it has great ramifications of National act International importance. It is very heartening to note that after Australia India is the only country in topical world which has succeeded in evolving a high quality milking breed after hard work of 30 years. However no thought has been given by the Govt. in sacrificing this great effort and depriving the nation of it’s benefits by refining and benefiting the millions of farmers by further propagating this breed. The huge problem of our cows going to butchers is only due to extremely low productivity where they cannot meet their own cost of feeding and maintenance. The only reason for such a draconian decision by Min of defence is their complete apathy to the crying need of the nation to improve productivity of our cows, train vast manpower in modern dairy farming on these farms and usher in the era of organized farming, utilization of Pamchgavya (Cow urine, dung) and stop migration of rural youth by providing them sustainable livelihood through modern dairy farming in their own villages. Dairying is highly complementary activity in agriculture and it’s importance cannot be over emphasized for rural upliftment.
6. The Mil farms are causing no loss to state. Besides they are the best custodian of surplus defence lands which over a period of time have been turned productive. The land with Mil farms are like a fixed deposit and can be had whenever required by Army as state Govt are not keen to provide land for defence.
7. The Indian breeds of cows which have been used world over for breed improvement but are languishing in their country of origin can be developed by locating them in these farms for propagation through chilled or frozen semen to cover the surrounding villages around these farms in different regions of the country.
8. It is so unfortunate that recommendations of Royal commission on agriculture repeated by national commission and Prime Minister’s in the proceedings of Parliamentary committee have remained unanctioned. It’s strange that closure without assigning any reason has been found to be the wisest answer to decide the late of this 127 years old organization with such a glorious past. There cannot be a case of bigger in justice than closure of Mil farms where cow is considered a back bone of agriculture and millions are fighting for its cause.
9. The closure of Mil farms will also entail gross human suffering at all levels of it’s thousands of employees.
10. It will mean ruining of career of officers who were specialist in agriculture and dairy farming and joined the service without suspecting that Govt will play this foul game and scuttle their careers. At Junior level it’s simply rendering them jobless when unemployment is single biggest challenge faced by Govt. That Govt itself will aggravate this problem is unthinkable.
11. It is also not commonly understood that all the land with Mil Farms was not acquired for them. They were only made its custodian. Dairy farming activity does not require so much land as fodder for itscowscan be outsourced as is being done at many locations. Except for built up area which is so small, rest all land can be taken back by Army as and when required.
12. In view of above the reason for such a draconian decision against cows is beyond comprehension and totally uncalled far.
13. The decision to close the dept is not only arbitrary but also in violation of Article 48 of Constitution of India which reads “Organization of agriculture and animal husbandry. The state will endeavor to organize agriculture and animal husbandry on modern and scientific lines and shall, in particular, take steps for preserving and improving the breeds and prohibiting the slaughter of cows and calves and other milch and draught cattle”.
14. As regards disposal of 25,000 cows due to closure possibility of their going in the hands of Butcher for slaughter cannot be ruled out which is again violation or article 48 of constitution of India besides prevention of Cruelty of animal Act 1960.
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