Sep. 08, 2022:
Based on the directive of ICAR, New Delhi to organise “Kharif Forage Day” at all the designated Centres of the All India Coordinated Research Project (AICRP) on Forage Crops and Utilisation operating in the country, BAIF Central Research Station, a AICRP Centre engaged in the development of new varieties/hybrids of maize, pearl millet and B x N Hybrid, evaluation of new entries through on-station and Multi Location Trials (MLT), generation of new forage production technologies, breeder seed production and Forage Technology Demonstrations, also organised “Forage Day” on September 8, 2022 at its research and demonstration centre at Urulikanchan near Pune. The objective was to popularise and sensitise farmers, livestock keepers, students, industry, policy makers and other stakeholders on forage cultivation and preservation.
The one-day meet was jointly inaugurated by Mr. Ganesh Deshpande, Deputy Director, Fodder Development – Commissionerate of Animal Husbandry, Government of Maharashtra, Dr. Ravindra Sawant, Founder & Chairman, Trimurti Dairy, Someshwar and Director, Maharashtra Organic and Residue Free Farmers Association (MORFFA), Dr. Ashok Pande, Group Vice President, Scientific Research and Livestock Development, BAIF, Dr. Jayant Khadse, Research Director, BAIF and Mr. Pramodkumar Takawale, Programme Director, BAIF and Officer In-Charge of the Project. More than 150 lead farmers, dairy owners, livestock keepers and students from Haveli, Daund and Shirur clusters of Pune district participated in the technical deliberations. Mr. Takawale provided an overview of the theme and objective of the meet. Mr. Ganesh Deshpande highlighted the schemes on fodder development and its preservation promoted by the Government of Maharashtra. Dr. Ravindra Sawant shared the experience of Trimurti Dairy in successful dairy business, production of quality milk and the benefits from BAIF’s technical inputs in livestock production. Dr. Ashok Pande emphasised on the use of advanced technologies in fodder production to meet the growing demand of green fodder and to make dairy enterprise a profitable business.
The Technical Sessions focussed on Green Fodder Production: Role and its importance in Dairy, Animal Nutrition and Ethno Veterinary Medicine (EVM). Mr. Takawale informed the participants about fodder crops and their varieties, fodder production technologies for deriving maximum green fodder, year-round green fodder production models and diverse fodder preservation techniques. Dr. Manojkumar Aware, Head – Animal Nutrition, BAIF, highlighted the role of animal nutrition, feeds, concentrates and mineral mixture to maintain animal health, increase milk production, value addition of different roughages and their use during fodder scarcity. Mr. Sadashiv Nimbalkar, Senior Thematic Programme Executive and EVM Coordinator, BAIF, elaborated on the use of EVM for treatment of Mastitis and other related diseases in cattle while providing information on identification of plant species, preparation of medicine and its application for healing of animals.
A field visit was organised to the fodder varieties established in the Golden Jubilee Forage Garden, Azolla Production Unit and Spineless Cactus demonstration plot. The participants expressed satisfaction about the knowledge gained from BAIF’s experience in fodder development and technology transfer during this meet.