The two-day district-level livestock championship witnessed poor attendance at Dakala village, 10 km from Patiala. People claimed demonetisation has affected the livelihood of rural people and it also became the reason behind the decrease in the footfall at the championship as compared to past years.
Member of Parliament (MP) Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa gave away cash prizes to the farmers in different categories like milking and breed of domestic animals. Cabinet minister Gulzar Singh Ranike inaugurated the championship on Saturday.
People at the fair said poor attendance was due to the Centre’s recent announcement to demonetise Rs 1,000 and Rs 500 banknotes. “People are busy exchanging and withdrawing banknotes and have little cash to even meet their daily needs. Farmers don’t have money even for transportation,” said Gurmail Singh, a resident of Mail village, who participated with his horse in the competition.
“The class, quality, and number of animals have witnessed a downfall this year. It is primarily due to fading interest in livestock among farmers but the demonetisation move has also forced people to give it a miss this year,” said a veterinary doctor.
Pargat Singh, a farmer, said, “Due to the state government’s negligence of the livestock, farmers too are disinterested in it.” A total of 1,134 animals participated in the competition under 58 categories in which horses were the main attraction.
Departments of dairy development, floriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries and also some private companies had put up their stalls.
Hi-tech goat breeding farm inaugurated
State animal husbandry minister Gulzar Singh Ranike also inaugurated a special goat breeding centre at Kullemajra village on the Patiala-Cheeka road on Saturday. The integrated goat farm has been built on a two-acre area and will house 3,000 goats of exotic and indigenous breeds. The farm is estimated to have cost about `2 crore.
Ranike said the farm would produce better quality breeds of goats and farmers can avail the facilities here.