Program profile
Sustainable agriculture
Women empowerment
Drinking water
Rain water harvesting
 
            
 
Home>>Programmes>>Live Stock Improvement

Livestock has 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.

Goat rearing
Goat rearing was also practiced by farmers in low scale. All most all farmers were using local varieties. But this was not much of an economic activity as the breeds are of low milk and meat yielding capacity partly due to inbreeding. Since the feed materials are locally available goat rearing had the potential to become an entrepreneurial activity provided existing breeds were improved.
RASTA has taken a step further in 1992 with the support of SDC IC to popularize goats rearing. At that time focus was on local breeds, with emphasis on feeding enhancement, construction of proper sheds and promoting group based goat-rearing activities by women.

But this could not get desired results as the meat and milk production still remained at 4 to 5 kg per animal and 300 to 500 ml respectively. So farmers could not get a reasonable profit out of rearing goats and up scaling of goat rearing was not possible. In 2003, RASTA introduced the Malabari Goat, a selective breed of Goats to farmers. It is a medium size breed. Height around 70 cm, with bucks weighing 50 kg and does around 35 kg. It has a Milk production of 2-4 litres per day.

The back breeding process started by giving one buck to one village and cross breeding with local breeds and developing Malabari varieties within third or fourth generation. Nearly 350 women group members benefited out of this programme and goat rearing became an important activity now for many households in the region.
The back breeding process started by giving one buck to one village and cross breeding with local breeds and developing Malabari varieties within third or fourth generation. Nearly 350 women group members benefited out of this programme and goat rearing became an important activity now for many households in the region.