He has “pledged what remains of my life” to conserving breeds of Bos indicus (native Indian cattle). His living room sports a huge photo of the Rs.15,000 cheque from the Kerala Livestock Development Board. “Roughly what I lose each month on my passion.” But Chandran Master is okay with that.
“My cows,” he points out, “are zero maintenance — they are native and do not need a high-input diet.” But he also tries to grow 30 types of mangoes and an equal number of bamboo varieties, all indigenous. Also a few native kinds of fish and many traditional plants. His son tries to bridge the household deficit through high-earning horticulture. If the family converted some of its 18 acres to real estate, he would be rich, but Chandran Master has “a mission and a passion.”
Keeping unique cattle breeds alive!
Chandran ‘Master’ and other intrepid souls have helped keep Kerala’s unique cattle varieties alive. This, despite antiquated laws that made the breeding of such animals by farmers illegal without a licence from the State’s Director of Animal Husbandry. And through some years when livestock inspectors relentlessly castrated the bulls of these ‘inferior’ breeds, boosting the dominance of crossbred cattle.
And in an unimaginable turn of events, the state is now paying ‘rebel’ farmers to keep these native varieties safe from extinction!
This story by P. Sainath has been taken from The Hindu. Read the entire original story here.
Additional links to other such stories:
Village Square – Native Cattle breeds gain ground in Tamil Nadu!
A video on how the Vechur cows look: