Local Manurial Resources

 

            Owing to the constant production of crops from the soil, the latter is being depleted gradually of its nitrogenous and other nutrients. An ordinary crop takes about 25lb. of nitrogen from an acre. It is, therefore, necessary to replenish the soil with the elements which are removed by the crops year after year.

 

            Organic matter is the life of the soil because it contains all the essential elements required for plant growth. It also serves as food for soil bacteria. Decomposed organic matter, known as humus, improves the soil tilth and helps the plant to grow. Well-stored farmyard manure is most important of all organic manures, but it is not available in sufficient quantity. Farmyard manure, if not properly stored, loses its nutrient-supplying value to a great extent.

 

            Therefore, in order to conserve farmyard manure and town refuse properly, two schemes were taken in hand by the Agricultural Department during the Second Five Year Plan (1956-61). The schemes were: “Development of Local Manurial Resources” and “Manufacture of Compost in Towns”.

 

Rural Compost and Cattle-Dung Manure:-  Cattle dung or farmyard manure is one of the best manures. Rich in nutrients which are readily available, it costs next to nothing. However, out of necessity or ignorance, the cultivators burn cow-dung as fuel. It is estimated that only about two-thirds of the total cow dung is utilized in compost-making, the rest being used as fuel.

The Rural Compost and Cattle-Dung Manure Scheme came into operation in January 1958 on an all-India basis to develop the local manorial resources. The main object of the scheme was to increase the quantity of cattle-dung manure and to improve its quality. This is being achieved through a larger and better utilization of all the manorial resources in the villages.

The scheme has a vital role to play in increasing agricultural production in view if the shortage of chemical fertilizers, their high cost and foreign exchange difficulties in importing these in large quantities to meet our requirements. The scheme will indirectly result in increasing production and in improving the economic conditions of the farmers. New compost pits are dug and old ones are repaired for the proper conservation of farm and household wastes. Cattle dung is, however, still being used as fuel by the cultivators in the villages, though during rains most of it goes to the manure pits and is converted into compost.

Previously, the work of compost-making was carried out only thorough persuasion and propaganda which proved to be quite an uphill task, because the farmers in the villages were often found reluctant to adopt the improved methods. It was felt that some legislation was necessary to make it obligatory on the farmers to conserve their cattle dung and other organic wastes properly in the pits. Thus, the East Punjab Conservation of Manures Act, 1949 (East Punjab Act No.15 of 1949) was passed in October 1949. Under this Act, defaulters are liable to a fine upto Rs.25 and, in case of continued breach, to a further fine which may extend to Rs.4 per day. The advantage of conserving manure in pits, apart from hygienic considerations, is that all the farm rubbish can be converted into manure which is rich in nitrogen.

The quantity of rural compost prepared during the past few years is as under:

 

Year

Rural Compost prepared (tonnes)

1960-961

347436

1965-66

666000

1966-67

846000

1967-68

735000

 

(Source:  Town Compost-cum-Field Manure Officer, Punjab, Chandigarh)

 

Green Manuring:-  Farmyard manure and compost are not available in sufficient quantities to the farmers to meet their full requirements. Artificial fertilizers are also in short supply. Owing to the intensely hot summers, the available humus in the soil is burnt up quickly. A periodical application of organic matter is, therefore, essential to replenish the loss of humus, which is necessary for keeping the soil in good condition by enhancing the supply of nitrogen and by promoting the growth of micro-organisms.

 

Green-manuring is, thus, a very useful soil-improving practice for building up soil fertility. First, it increases the soil fertility by the direct addition of nitrogen to the soil. Second, it improves the soil texture by the addition of humus or organic matter which is essential for making the soil more productive. The addition of organic matter improves both heavy and sandy soils, as it has a binding effect on the loose particles of the sandy soils and makes the hard and heavy soils porous. Thus, it also increases the water-holding capacity of the soil. Besides, the conditions for increasing the number of useful bacteria in the soil are also improved. The crop generally used for green-manuring is dhaincha, though the cultivation of sun-hemp and guara is also in vogue.

 

Green-manuring is in common use in irrigated lands, lands, but its popularity in barani land is hindered by the lack of irrigational facilities.

 

The Extension of Green-Manuring Scheme came into operationa in the Punjab with effect from April 1, 1961. it aims at popularizing the use of green manure in the State. The Government encourages the adoption of this practice by the farmers by granting subsidies on seeds of green-manuring crops. The Irrigation Department also grants remission of water-rate, if crops are buried for green-manuring before 15th of September.

 

The total area under the green-manuring crops in the district, during the past few years, has been as under:

 

Year

Area under green-manuring crops (hectares)

1955-56

716

1960-61

7785

1965-66

13254

1967-68

26096

 

(Source:  Town Compost-cum-Field Manure Officer, Punjab, Chandigarh)

Town Compost and Sullage Utilization

            Town Compost:- The bulky organic manures are quite important for the maintenance of soil fertility, and for a high level of crop production. The refuse available in the towns, e.g. all sorts of waste organic matter, such as cattle dung, house refuse, leaves of trees, and night-soil, are a potential source of good-quality compost which can be utilized for crop production. To harness this source for increasing agricultural production, all-out efforts are being made in the State to have these wastes properly conserved for using as manure.

            Town compost is prepared in the district by the municipalities of Amritsar, Chheharta, Jandiala, Guru, Majitha, Patti and Tarn Taran. Its production during 1965-66 to 1967-68 is given below:-

                Urban compost prepared by municipalities                   (tones)                                      

Year

Amritsar

Chheharta

Jandiala

Guru

Majitha

Patti

Tarn

Taran

1965-66

33,814

2,227

3,588

538

512

1,783

1966-67

35,543

2,640

3,514

273

617

1,259

1967-68

41,921

1,851

4,035

1,218

4,920

2,113

 

       (Source:  Town Compost-cum-Field Manure Officer, Punjab, Chandigarh)

Sullage Utilization:- Sewage or sullage is a mixture of numerous kinds of household and industrial wastes which are conveniently carried away by water. A large proportion of the waste water is of origin and contains plant-food nutrients in varying quantities and can be used with advantage for fertilizing the land. Crops grown on sewage or sullage effluents give considerably higher yields than those with ordinary irrigation water.

(vii)           Plant Diseases, Pests and Obnoxious Weeds

Agriculture, apart from a gamble in rain, is subject to havoc caused by pests and diseases. As human ingenuity has no control over natural forces, plant-protection measures against pests and diseases become a necessity for the successful raising of farm crops. Suitable control operations against the attacks of insect pests and diseases in case of cereals, vegetables, fruit-trees, cash crops or stored grains need to be  carried out regularly, like manuring, watering and hoeing; otherwise very often the pests and diseases attain such magnitudes as top wipe out the crops.

Appalling ravages wrought by field rats are bitterly known to farmers. The commonest pests and diseases occurring in the district are mentioned below:-

Crop pests and diseases

Sugarcane top-borer, sugarcane stem-borer, Sugarcane pyrilla, cotton jassid, cotton leaf-roller, rice bug, pansukh disease of rice, sarson aphis, toka, loose smut of wheat, etc.

Fruit pests and diseases

Cirtus psylla, lemon caterpillar, mango-Hopper, mango mealy  bug, citrus canker, etc

Vegetable pests

Red pumpking beetle, brinjal hadda, potato   And bhindi jassid, brinjal and bhindi fruit-Borer.

Stored grain pests

Khapra, susri, dhori, etc.

Miscellaneous pests                

Field rats, jackals, etc.

           

            Obnoxious Weeds:- Pohli is an obnoxious weed. The state Agriculture Department tried to eradicate it through persuasion, but the cultivators did not pay much heed to its eradication and the intensity of pohli infestation reached an alarming level. The State Government, therefore, enacted the East Punjab Agricultural Pests and Diseases and Obnoxious Weeds Act, 1949. Under this Act, the offenders can be punished on conviction by a Magistrate with fine which may extend up to Rs. 50/-, or in default a simple imprisonment for a period, not exceeding ten days. Notices are issued by Agricultural Inspectors to those cultivators who do not eradicate this weed on persuasion before the maturing of its seed, and the defaulters are reported against for legal action, wherever necessary.

                                             

(d) Animal Husbandry, poultry and Fisheries

Livestock are the backbone of the peasantry. They not only supply the motive power for agricultural operations but also supply milk and other by-products and help to augment the income of the farmers. Moreover, they help to secure a balanced diet for the urban people and reduce dependence on food grains alone.

Animals, especially cattle, play an important role in the economy of the district. Animal husbandry, thus, forms an important part of agriculture. The essential equipment of a peasant-farmer includes a pair of bullocks or he-buffaloes to do the ploughing, work the Persian wheel and draw the cart. Even though motor power and electricity are gradually replacing the bullocks, yet for a long time to come, the importance of the latter will remain pre-eminent. Further, milk, which cows and buffaloes yield, is of great importance as a nutritive and protective food.

The district possesses a good number of livestock, including cattle, buffaloes, horses and ponies, donkeys, mules, sheep, goats, camels and pigs. Their number, according to the livestock Census of 1966, is as under:

 

Livestock in the Amritsar District(1966)

 

Particulars

Tehsil

Amritsar

Tehsil

Tarn

Taran

Tehsil

Ajnala

Tehsil

Patti

Total

Cattle

1,30,222

1,06,933

63,384

57,038

3,57,577

Buffaloes

1,57,225

1,32,693

73,164

66,440

4,29,522

Horses and Ponies

3,776

3,471

1,129

1,580

9,956

Donkeys

6,468

6,715

1,994

4,502

19,679

Mules

238

191

69

9

507

Sheep

4,276

7,496

5,279

6,617

23,668

Goats

10,089

11,140

5,175

4,108

30,512

Camels

407

1,824

285

1,120

3,636

Pigs

194

320

366

217

1,097

Total

3,12,895

2,70,783

1,50,845

1,41,631

8,76,154

 

For the development of animal husbandry, including veterinary aid, the Amritsar District falls under the Jullundar Division, which is under the charge of a Deputy Director, Animal Husbandry, with headquarters at Amritsar. He is under the control of the Director, Animal Husbandry, Punjab, Chandigarh. At the district level, there is a District Animal Husbandry Officer at Amritsar, holding the semi-independent charge of the district. Before the partition of the country in 1947, the district was under the charge of a Deputy Superintendent, Animal Husbandry, Lahore (now in Pakistan), who was in charge of both the Lahore and Amritsar districts.

 

The functions of the Department at the district level are : the control and prevention of contagious diseases among animals, the improvement of stock by castrating useless male stock, the supply of bulls of improved breeda, the supervision of poultry and piggery, the holding of cattle shows, etc. the maintenance of stallions for horse-breeding and mule-breeding, the provision of fresh semen of exotic and local breeds of cattle by the nili buffalo-bulls, the establishment of key Village Blocks with a number of Key Village Units for the improvement of cattle, the supply of seeds to bonafide breeders at subsidized rates for the improvement of fodder crops, the establishment of demonstration pasture plots, grants for popularizing fodder grasses, the organizing of calf rallies as incentives to the breeders to look after their young calves, etc. These activities are carried on through 30 Civil Veterinary Hospitals, 32 Veterinary Dispensaries, the Mule-Breeding Centre, and 5 Key Village Blocks with 50 Key Village Units.

 

(vii)           Animal Health Wing and Animal Breeding Wing: The Animal Husbandry Department at the district level comprises two wings, viz. Animal Health, under the charge of a District Animal Husbandry officer, and animal Breeding, under the charge of an Assistant Director, Key Village Scheme. Their strength (as on April 1, 1968) was as under:-

Animal Health Wing:- One District Animal Husbandry Officer, assisted by 24 Veterinary Assistant Surgeons, 2 Animal Husbandry Assistants, and 62 Veterinary Compounders, besides other miscellaneous technical and ministerial Class III and miscellaneous Class IV staff.

 
Animal Breeding Wing:- One Assistant Director, Key Village Scheme, Assisted by 6 Veterinary Assistant Surgeons, 46 Stock assistants, 2 Laboratory Assistants, and 3 Drivers, besides other miscellaneous technical and ministerial Class III and allied Class IV staff. The Jurisdiction  of the Assistant Director, Key Village Scheme, Amritsar, also extends to the Gurdaspur and Kapurthala disyticts.

 

            Animal Health Wing:- The jurisdiction of the District Animal Husbandry Officer, Amritsar, is the entire  district and he attends the following activities:-

 

(1)              Control and prevention of contagious diseases of animals.

 

(2)              Treatment of sick animals

 

(3)              Castration of useless male stock for the improvement of breeds.

 

(4)              Making available of bulls of improved breeds

 

(5)              Maintenance of stallions for horse-breeding and mule-breeding in the district.

 

(6)              Supervision of poultry-breeding and piggery-breeding and the extension of that work to augment the protein-rich diet of the nation.

 

(7)              Holding of cattle-shows and the awarding of madals, prizes and certificates to top-quality animals for the encouragement of  improved breeding.

 

(8)              Holding of milk-yield competitions and the awarding of prizes to encourage the breeding of milk strain, like Sahiwal in case of cows, and the Nili breed in case of buffaloes.

 

These activities are performed through 30 civil veterinary hospitals, each under the charge of veterinary assistant surgeon, and 32 veterinary dispensaries, each under the charge of a trained veterinary compounder. Besides, a mule breeding centre is run in the district at Sialka.

 

Animal Breeding Wing:-  An Intensive Cattle Development Project under the control of the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandary, Jallandhar Division, with Head Quarters at Amritsar, with the project jurisdiction of the Amritsar district, was started in 1968 in the combined milk-sheeds area of Amritsar to make an impact on milk protection in the tract which is well known for the Nili buffalo famous for high milk yield. On account of lucrative prices offered by the traders for these high milkers, the breeders keep quality animals.

 

The breeding operations are carried on by obtaining fresh Smen Bank where progeny-tested Nili buffalo-bulls are kept. Bulls for semen collection are selected on the basis of milk yield of their dams and on plenotypic characters. In addition to the existing facilities of Key village Block, ten new livestock centers, under the charge of trained stock assistants have been set up. Each centre covers ten thousand buffaloes of breedable age. To avoid indiscriminate breeding, an intensive method is made to castrate scrub buffalo-bulls. The fodder resources of the district are favourable and the scheme envisages the adoption of improved feeding practices, the development of fodder resources and also the establishment of feed-making plant to supply nutritive feed to the breeders of the area for these animals.  Facilities are provided for the registration of animals of outstanding milk yield. Cattle shows and calf ralies are also organized. To educate the farmers in the art of better management, feeding and diseases prevention of milk animals, in particular, and of other livestock, in general, periodical audio-visual programmes are arranged in the blocks and areas around them through a film project.

 

The jurisdiction of the Assistant Director, Key Village Scheme, exends over the three district, viz. Amritsar, Kapurthala and Gurdaspur, with headquarters at Amritsar, and covers the following activities:-

 

(1)                          Provision of fresh semen of exotic and local breeds of cattle and Nili buffalo-bulls by establishing a semen bank at Verka.

 

(2)                          Establishment of Key Village Blocks with a number of Key Village Units for the improvement of cattle and buffalo breeds through artificial insemination.

 

(3)                          Supplying of seeds to the bonafide breeders at subsidized rates for the improvement of fodder crops.

 

(4)                          Establishment of Demonstration Pasture Plots by giving grants for popularizing fodder grasses and silos.

 

(5)                          Provision of funds for organizing calf rallies for giving incentive to the breeders to look after their young calves.

The above activities are carried on through 5 Key Village Blocks under the charge of trained Veterinary Assistant Surgeons, and 50 Key Village Blocks Units under the charge of trained Stock Assistants. Top qulity cows ans buffalo-bulls are maintained at the Key Village Blocks and Key Village Units for natural service.

 

The following institutions exist in the district for artificial insemination. All these are under the supervision of the Assistant Director, Key Village Scheme, Amritsar. But the ten centers shown under the Intensive Cattle Development Project (I.C.D.P.) are under the direct control of the Deputy Director, Animal Husbandary, Jullundar Division, Amritsar.

 

Key Village Blocks/ Artifical Insemination Centre

Date of opening

Key Village Unit attached

Number of villages covered

(i)         Khalsa College, Amritsar

26th March, 1954

(ii)        Chheharta

(iii)      Raja Sansi

(iv)      Verka

(v)       Harse Chhina

(vi)      Chak Mukand

(vii)    Kohali

17 villages, besides the Amritsar city

(viii)   Jandiala Guru

1st April, 1967

(ix)       Mananwala

(x)        Bundala

(xi)       Tangrah

(xii)     Kale Ke

(xiii)    Khalchian

(xiv)   Mehman

(xv)     Timmowal

(xvi)   Charyala

(xvii)  Nizampurah

(xviii)         Vadalah Jauhal

38

(xix)    Patti

1sr March, 1957

(xx)      Kairon

(xxi)    Jandike

(xxii)   Tarn Taran

(xxiii) Usman

(xxiv) Sirhali Kalan

(xxv)  Dhariwal

(xxvi) Manihala Jai Singh

(xxvii)        Gharyala

(xxviii)      Surwind

(xxix)  Mughal Wala

32

(xxx)   Mahta

8th March, 1959

(xxxi)  Mattewala

(xxxii)         Bhoewal

(xxxiii)       Dhardeo

(xxxiv)       Udoke

(xxxv)        Sialka

(xxxvi)       Baba Bakala

(xxxvii)     Sathiala

(xxxviii)    Ghuman

(xxxix)        Rangarh Nangal

(xl)       Dhariwala

46

(xli)     Ajnala

15th February 1962

(xlii)    Dalam

(xliii)  Thaba

(xliv)  China Karm Singh

(xlv)   Mananwala

(xlvi)  Othian

(xlvii)         Dial Bharang

26

(xlviii)       Semen Bank, Verka

15th August, 1965

 

 

(This centre is meant for supplying semen)

 

 

Intensive Cattle Development Project Centres

 

            Ten such centers have been established in the district at Prit Nagar, Kohala, Chawinda, Chidan, Kaler, Naushehra, Nangli, Mohan Bhandari, Bhoma Vadala, Bhoja and Uggar Olakh to cater to the breeding requirements of the people of the respective areas. Each of these centers covers 10,000 buffaloes and cows of breedable age in a compact contiguous block.

 

Development of Gaushalas

 

            Taking into consideration the huge potentialities of the Gaushalas and Pinjrapols allover the country, a Gaushala Development Scheme was launched in an all-India basis to develop selected Gaushalas to serve as cattle-breeding-cum-milk-producing centers. Such a scheme was introduced in the Punjab in 1956-57 during the Second Five-Year Plan and was further continued during the Third Five Year Plan.

 

            In the district, there are three gaushalas, viz (1) Amritsar Pinjrapol Gaushala Regd., Ghee Mandi, Amritsar; (2) Siri Ram Gaushala, Govindwal; and (3) Gaushala Jandiala Guru. Of these, only the first is functioning; the others exist only in name.

 

Cattle Fairs and Shows

 

            To stimulate the interest of the breeders in cattle development and to get them good return from the money invested in this industry, a number of cattle fairs and shows are held in the district. Besides, providing marketing facilities, handsome prizes are awarded at the fairs and shows to the breeders for the excellent stock bred by them. These cattle fairs also afford an opportunity to the breeders to select suitable types of animals, and to exchange ideas and experience with one another in the field of livestock-breeding.

 

            With the same end in view, the celebration of the Gosamvardhana Week was started in 1955 on the Gopal Ashtami day and has been continued every year. The funds for the purpose are allotted by the State Animal Husbandry Department. Out of the funds, 50 per cent of the expenditure is met by the Central Council of Gosamvardhana, New Delhi.

 

            During 1968-69, a milk-yield competition was held. Twenty animals competed in it and Rs.200 was awarded as prizes from the State funds.

Castration

 

            It is an admitted fact that effective improvement in livestock can only be achieved if efficient and strict culling of all substandard animals is carried on regularly. Any amount of breeding carried out to improve the livestock will be futile if nor supported by vigorous culling. During 1967-68, 9155 animals, including 9070 bovines, 12 equines and 73 others were castrated.

 

Control of Menace of Wild and Stray Cattle

 

            Great damage is done to the crops by wild and stray cattle in rural areas. Their number is on the increase, owing to the progressive imposition of a complete ban on the slaughtering of cattle in the Stat. In order to control menace, a scheme for the rounding up of wild and stray cattle as well as for their disposal, known as the Wild and Stray Cattle Catching Scheme, was launched in the State in 1962-63 during the Third Five-Year Plan. It was, however, felt that the more extensive efforts were needed for tackling this problem. Accordingly, a fairly comprehensive programme was included in the Third Five-Year Plan. Under the scheme, cattle-catching parties have been organized to round up wild and stray cattle.

 

Gosadans

 

            The elimination of useless and unproductive cattle is an important supplementary factor for ensuring the success of the cattle-development programme. This problem has increased in importance because of the imposition of a progressive ban on the slaughtering of cattle in the State. In order to segregate useless and inferior cattle, Gosadans have been established.

            (ii)  Area under Fodder Crops:-  Normal years yield plenty of fodder. During April to June, the cattle are fed on wheat, barley, gram and dry straw. The new straw of the rabi crops comes in April. In July and August, there is good grass in the waste-lands and on the fallows. So the cattle are grazed in it. In September and October, green fodder in the form of jowar alone or mixed with moth or some other legume is given. From November to the beginning of March, the dry stalks of jowar, maize etc. are given and, if necessary, wheat or barley in the form of missa bhusa. In March, animals are sometimes fed in metha, senji, turnips, shatala etc. and green wheat or barley is also given. This, however, is an exception in case of milch cattle and is not the rule. So wheat and barley straw in the summer and jawar and maize stalks in the winter from the principal cattle fodders. Turnips is only used in the bet (riverine area).

           

From the above account, it is evident that August to November is the best period for the cattle in the whole of the year and April to June is the worst period for them. Speaking generally, chaff, grass, jowar, senji, shatala, bajra and the crushed stalks of sugarcane are the principal fodders of the district.

 

            About 20 percent of the total cropped area (as ascertained in 1967-68) is under fodder crops. Apart from these crops, the stalks of bajra, jowar and maize and the chaff of wheat, gram and minor cereals are used as animal fodder. The important among the fodder crops are chari, green maize, guara, metha, javi, berseem and Lucerne. Of these, chari is the leading crop and covers about 8 percent of the area under forage crops. The following table gives the area under different fodder crops in the district during 1955-56, 1960-61, 1965-66 and 1967-68:-

 

Area under fodder crops in the Amritsar District, 1955-56 to 1967-68

 

Fodder crops

Year

1955-56

(hectares)

1960-61

(hectares)

1965-66

(hectares)

1967-68

(hectares)

Kharif crops:

 

 

 

 

Jowar (chari)

42527

37143

40880

44576

Guara

---

1761

1139

1948

Other fodders

10514

5593

4861

6732

Total

53041

44497

46880

53256

Rabi Crops:

 

 

 

 

Berseem

20656

26041

34228

13653

Oats (javi)

402

20

---

427

Lucerne

---

---

---

257

Other fodders (turnip)

40690

24816

24239

39473

          Total

61748

50877

58467

53810

Grand Total

114789

95374

105347

107066

 

(Source: Deputy Commissioner, Amritsar)

 

            The feed and fodder development programme has also been undertaken under the Key Village Scheme. The farmers are persuaded to grow improved varieties of fodders and grasses by supplying the seeds at subsidized rates. The utility of improved seeed, cultural practices and intercropping is explained to them by lying out demonstration plots, each ¼ of an acre, in the cultivators’ own fields. Breeders are also asked to conserve the surplus green fodders during the flush season for utilizing it during the lean period. The paddy straw, utilized as cattle feed, is very deficient in food value.

 

            Shamlat deh or the village common lands, which were being used as pastures before the consolidation of holdings, have now been distributed among the villagers and brought under cultivation. There are now no pastures or grazing lands as such in the district.

 

            (iii)  Dairy Farming:-  Buffaloes and cows constitute the main source for the supply of milk. According to the Livestock Census of 1966, the numbers of cows and buffaloes in the milk in the district were 58570 and 11911 respectively. Sparsely distributed in certain areas of the district, there are some goats and sheep also, but their milk yield is small and of no commercial importance.

 

            The total output of milk is quite adequate in terms of the requirements of the rural population. But the tendency of the cultivator is to sell as much of his products as possible for cash, even if this entails a shortage of essential nutrients in his own diet and that of his family. For the villages in the vicinity of towns, the market is relatively lucrative and the sale of milk is a valuable addition to the cultivators’ income. The Verka Milk Plant collects milk from cultivators whose holdings are remote from the market.

 

            The Government Milk Plant was established at Verka in1962. it is fed by the Village-Collection Cenres located in the rural area. The milk collected at these centers is brought to the 19 Assembling-Centres, from where it is taken to the plant. Besides, there are 2 Milk-Chilling Centres at Patti and Mahta. The details of milk handled and milk products made by the plant during 1967-68 are as under:-

 

Kilogrammes

1)      Milk

10775715

2)      Whole milk powder

161276

3)      Skim-milk powder

390191

4)      Table butter

156026

5)      White butter

239220

6)      Ghee (prepared from white butter mentioned above)

25565

 

            (iv)  Sheep-Breeding:-  The improved methods of rearing, breeding and management of sheep, including the shearing and grading of wool, besides providing veterinary aid to protect sheep from contagious and non-contagious diseases, which cause heavy loss to the breeders, are essential for improving the quality and quantity of the wool yield, the scheme for the development of sheep and wool in the State was introduced in 1957. It aims at developing the sheep and wool industry by improving the quality and quantity of wool yield through scientific knowledge in sheep husbandry and wool technology imparted to the sheep-farmers, registering the flocks for the maintenance of breeding records, and by controlling the outbreak of diseases among sheep.

 

            The total numbers of sheep and goats in the district, according to the Livestock Census of 1966, were 23668 and 30512 respectively.

 

            The sheep in the district are of non-descript breed. Selection methods are employed for breeding. The best ram out of the lot available is selected and utilized to improve the breed.

 

            (v)  Poultry Farming:-  The changes in food habits, in general, since the partition of the country in 1947 have given a stimulus to poultry-farming. Religious prejudices against the eating of poultry and eggs, prevalent among certain sections of the population, are being gradually shed.

 

            Previously, people used to keep desi birds in the free-range system. With the establishment of 4 Poultry Service Centres at Verka, Tarn Taran, Ajnala and Kairon, farmers have taken to poultry farming in scientific lines. Twelve poultry co-operative societies, with a total membership of 179, are functioning in the district. There are two Panchayat Samiti Poultry Extension Centres at Ajbala and Kairon, run with Government staff. Their main function is to provide veterinary aid to the poultry farmers and remove their difficulties. There are about 94 poultry farms in the district. High-egg-laying strains of White Leghorn and Rhode Island Red birds are being maintained in the district by the poultry farmers.

 

            According to the Livestock Census of 1966, the total number of fowls, ducks, turkeys ad other birds in the district was 187755. The Poultry Wing was retransferred to the control of the animal Husbandry Department from April, 1966.

 

            In 1967-68, there was one poultry Extension Centre at Kairon, three Intensive Poultry Development Blocks at Ajnala, Tarn Taran and Kairon, and one Poultry-cum-Piggery Centre at Ajnala in the district.

 

            (vi)  Piggery:-  Pig is a very prolific breeder. Its offspring grow more quickly and mature at an earlier age than those of other food animals. Pigs, therefore, have great potentialities for augmenting the food-supply, because of their number can be rapidly increased.

 

            To improve the indigenous stock, interested breeders have been provided with a number of good quality pigs, both male and female, at Government approved rates. According to the Livestock Census of 1966, the total number of pigs in the district was 1097.

 

            (vii)  Fisheries:-  Apart from the vast natural fishery resources of the district, there are vast expenses of culturable waters within the boundaries of its 14 blocks. Natural fisheries abound in the riverine complex consisting of approximately 128 km of the Beas River, 40 km of the Ravi River, 32 km of the Satluj River and 78.4 km of the Sakki Nala. Besides, there are drains, canals, and dhands to the extent of approximately 400 km of water-courses.

 

            Apart from the natural fishery potentialities, the district is also rich because of ponds and tanks covering 952.75 acres in 317 villages. Including the fallow water areas like chhambs, there are about 1000 acres of culturable water which can easily be brought under fish-culture after minor remodellings and improvements with the object of boosting fish production.

 

            With the passage of time, the food habits of the people have markedly changed. Now fish easily finds a place in the dining table. The demand for fish has increased manifold. Thus there is a regular and substantial demand for fish for local consumption.

 

            There is, therefore, a great scope for fish-culture after effecting some minor and major renovations in the ponds and tanks. Fish-culture is practiced by using stocking fingerlings at the rate of 1000 per acre of water after the monsoon and generally during the winter months. The fry of the major carp, which are left in the inundated waters of the rivers, or in the enclosed sheets of waters cut off from the river waters, are reared up the fingerling stage in the natural environment and are sorted out and collected by the department and stocked in ponds and tanks.

 

            The natural fishery resources are also an asset to the district. The stock in the natural course can also be enriched by more effective conservation measures, which, in turn, will be a lure to anglers, fish-traders, etc.

 

            The species of the major carp are stocked in the village ponds for fish-culture. These are Rohu (L. rohita), thail (C.catla), Mirgal (C.mrigala), Kelahan (L.calbans) and Mirror ciar. These species are non-carnivorous in their feeding habits and, thus, a mixed farming of all these species is done to utilize the whole productivity (food) of ponds and tanks because of the different food habits of the fish at different strata of the fresh water. These species are cultured together to utilize the food to the maximum. Catfishes do appear in the stocked ponds and they should be eliminated from the stock. The riverine fish fauna, however, consists of all the varieties of major carp and catfish.

 

            The commercially important fish with their local names are: Dhambra or Rohu, Thail, Morakh or Mirgal, Kalehan, Singhara, Saul, Mullee, Paddi, Mahanseer, Khaga, etc., whereas those less important are Batter, Bhangan, Kursa, Pallu, Kingar, Daulla and Pahari Rohu.

 

            The fishing contract is auctioned for one year from September to August. The fish production in the district from notified waters, other than drains, etc. was 460 quintals in 1965-66 and 2328 quintals in 1967-68. The annual production from drains, canals, etc. also on an average amounts to 200 to 300 quintals.

 

            Fisheries being a paying enterprise, and, with the increasing trend in fish production from rivers, streams, canals and drains, there is a marked increase in revenue therefrom. The income of Rs.20000 during 1965-66 increased to Rs.130010 during 1967-68. Apart from this, the canal fisheries contribute their share to the extent of Rs.10000 to 20000 annually. There is also a eager contribution from angling sport licences and compensation and sale of fish seed.

 

            The promotion of fisheries was previously looked after by the Director, Animal Husbandry and Warden of Fisheries, Punjab. But in 1963, the Department of Animal Husbandry and Fisheries was bifurcated and a separate department under the charge of Director and Warden of Fisheries was set up. In the district, the department is represented by 3 Fisheries Officers, one each at Amritsar, Tarn Taran and Jandiala Guru. They are assisted by the following staff, the distribution of which is given circlewise:-

Amritsar Circle

3 Field Assistants and 3   Fishermen

Tarn Taran Circle           

3 Field Assistants and 1 Boatman

Jandiala Guru Circle

2  Field Assistants and 1 Fisherman

           

            The main activities of the department are the conservation of fisher resources and the development of fisheries. The conservation aspect is looked after by keeping a check in the activities of poachers and those indulging in un-licensed fishing as well as in the harmful methods of fishing, such as the dynamiting and poisoning of public waters.2 The licensees are allowed to catch fish under the rules framed under the Punjab Fisheries Act, 1914, so as to eliminate indiscriminate fishing and save fisheries (which form a natural asset) from annihilation. In order to give a fillip to the fishing industry and to ensure regional self-sufficiency, the village ponds, which, in their existing neglected condition, form only breeding places for mosquitoes and, thus, prove eyesores to the picturesque village surroundings, are stocked with fish seed collected from natural spawning-grounds. The stocked ponds and tanks become free from mosquitoes, larvae and many other disease-producing parasites.

 

2There are in force mesh regulations, size restrictions and the close season (July and August) under the Punjab Fisheries Act, 1914, and the Indian Fisheries Act, 1897.

 

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