been a major source of income for small farmers and labourers,
and the basic facilities for cow rearing was very poor in
Wayanad. Today, the crisis in the farm sector has compelled
many farmers to look at livestock as major option to tide
over the crisis and it has become primary earning sector for
a majority of people. RASTA has also taken it up as an organizational
agenda to support the farming community with necessary inputs
with emphasis on cow and goat rearing as major thrust area.
During eighties People used to have temporary
sheds for cows using paddy straw for thatched roofs and laying
fishtail palm stem for rough flooring. During the prolonged
rainy seasons (six months) cattle become more prone to disease
like mastitis and used to give birth of unhealthy calves due
to infection. Also the practice of keeping the urine and dung
in the same pits leads to unhygienic environment leading to
breeding of flies and spreading of diseases. Understanding
this situation, the RASTA took a major step to provide assistance
to new cattlesheds with separate urine tanks. 500 new catlle-sheds
were constructed by the farmers with the support of RASTA.
To supplement this initiative, RASTA has
introduced the various types of fodder grasses like Nappier,
Congo signal, and Guania grass among farmers of Wayanad.
Nearly 1500 families have been provided with
credit support of 1.8 Crore during the last 10 years for purchasing
cows through SHGs.
Intensive heifer care programme was launched
in 1990 in association with veterinary department, where focus
has been given for proper nutrition and de-worming of new
born calves and spreading awareness.
Booklets and palm lets have been prepared
to give awareness on the heifer care activities. RASTA has
also promoted silage, urea treatment of straw to properly
keep grass for lean season.