Dairy Farmers will Get Processed Areca Sheath as Fodder

NIANP Developed Technology supported by NABARD will give relief

New Delhi, 08 February, 2011

Dairy farmers from Panaje near Puttur in D K district of Karnataka have a reason to cheer. They got a much needed technology which used dried areca sheath in the form of total mixed ration (TMR) along with suitable proportion of concentrate to support milk production. Thanks to the National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology (NIANP), Bangalore and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) supported project, Dairy farmers from this region have started using the processed areca sheath in the form of total mixed ration.

One of the prestigious Institutes of the ICAR - the National Institute of Animal Nutrition and Physiology (NIANP), had taken up a research work in this aspect and evaluated the utility of areca sheath in feeding of dairy animals. The findings of this study indicated promising results that the areca sheath is superior to paddy straw in terms of relatively low lignin(50% TDN) and some minerals like calcium, sulphur and copper. Feeding areca sheath in sheep and dairy cattle had no adverse effects. The NIANP has developed a technology of using dried areca sheath in the form of total mixed ration (TMR) along with suitable proportion of concentrate to support milk production.

In some regions of Karnataka, particularly in coastal zone there is a deficit of dry fodder and paddy straw is imported from neighbouring districts, thus resulting in higher market price. Areca cultivation as a commercial crop is quite extensive in this region and there is a possibility of using the fallen areca sheath as a dry fodder for dairy animals.

The above technology was appreciated by NABARD during an interactive meeting and they came forward to finance a pilot project to NIANP to transfer the technology under their Rural Innovation Fund (RIF) scheme by installing an areca sheath processing unit at milk cooperative society, Panaje.

The society has provided the infrastructural facility such as housing, electricity etc. for installing the areca sheath processing unit. The machinery like disintegrator, grinder and mixer required for this unit has been procured and installed in the society by NIANP under the above scheme. As per the technical guidance of scientists of NIANP, the dairy farmers have started using the processed areca sheath in the form of total mixed ration in the above society.

The formal inauguration of the above mentioned unit and a technical workshop is being organized by the society involving people’s representatives on 19 th February 2011 at Panaje, Puttur.

(Source: NAIP Sub-Project on Mass Media Mobilization, DIPA)