Lack of availability of fodder, coupled with severe water shortage has been a major concern in the entire Kutch region. As most of people living in the Kutch Region are engaged in animal husbandry, access to high-quality fodder is a must. Lack of adequate grazing lands has further added to the concerns of the local community members engaged in animal husbandry.
In a bid to address the issue, Coastal Gujarat Power Limited (CGPL), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tata Power instituted a couple of Gaushalas to launch Kanthi Area Livelihood Programme (KALP). Under the project, Tata Power has established Gauseva Trust in close consultations with the community and PRI and building Gaushalas (cow shelters) in the Kutch Region to help supplement cattle rearing and animal husbandry through regular fodder supply. The programme was initiated in 2009.
Thus far, two Gaushalas have been established. One in the village of Tunda Vandh and the other one in the village of Mota Kandagara. While the Tunda Vandh has a cattle population 1500, the village has received 4097045 kg of Green fodder, and 14, 68, 375 kg of Dry Fodder. The village of Mota Kandagara with a cattle population of 2,100, has received 61, 03, 708 kg of Green fodder and 13, 22, 170 kg of Dry Fodder under the initiative. Around 450 cattle owners are getting the benefit through these two Gaushala’s. Mota Kandagara Gauseva Charitable Trust and Tunda Vandh Gauseva Charitable Trust manage the two gaushalas respectively. Fodder for livestock is sourced from a wide variety of vendors and supplied to the Gaushalas. Moreover, a waterline providing cattle with drinking water along with a cattle
Mota Kandagara Gauseva Charitable Trust and Tunda Vandh Gauseva Charitable Trust manage the two gaushalas respectively. Fodder for livestock is sourced from a wide variety of vendors and supplied to the Gaushalas. Moreover, a waterline providing cattle with drinking water along with a cattle trough, , and a fodder storage yard have been constructed as part of the project.
The Gaushala Support program also aims to make both the Gaushalas (Tunda Vandh and Mota Kandagara) sustainable. Till date, fodder has been sourced from distant places through fodder vendors. Procurement from vendors is vulnerable to damage, causing delay in fodder delivery. High costs associated with procurement also end up playing a spoilsport in the entire process.
To address the problem, CGPL has collaborated with Parjanya Ecology Pvt. Ltd, a private enterprise. The collaboration aims to upskill the local farmers and help them to locally grow and supply green and dry fodder. The local farming community is also being encouraged to adopt hybrid varieties of fodder. A plot spanning over 24 hectares is also being used by CGPL to demonstrate these varieties. A part of the plot is also being used as a nursery to provide high yield fodder saplings as a seed bank for farmers. The plots have been systematically designed to harvest and store rainwater locally. The demonstration plot has been bifurcated into four sub-plots of six hectares each. Each subplot is being used for a unique demonstration activity and research objectives.
Animal husbandry and cattle rearing form a is a vital cog in the wheel for the local communities to keep themselves up and running. CGPL has been proactively marshalling this initiative in close coordination with the community and Panchayat.