Payagipur: This UP village thrives, survives on buffaloes
All 3000-odd residents of this village deal in buffalo trade, each house having a wide variety of milch cattle, from the popular Murrah variety to Surti and Jaffarabadi.Updated: Jun 30, 2020 21:20 IST
Whether or not this small village, 35 kilometers from Sangam City, owns the proverbial stick, it surely owns the buffaloes, lots and lots of them.
All 3000-odd residents of this village deal in buffalo trade, each house having a wide variety of milch cattle, from the popular Murrah variety to Surti and Jaffarabadi. On any given day, buyers from different parts of Prayagraj and many other districts can be seen striking deals and buying buffaloes here.
Welcome to Payagipur, in Saidabad development block, which is better known as ‘village of buffaloes’ and draws buyers from across the state.
No one knows exactly when people began trading in buffaloes here, but the village has emerged as a prime supplier of quality buffaloes for the region for around three decades now.
“You can find Murrah, Nili Ravi, Surti, Jaffarabadi and Bhadawari breeds of buffaloes, for which one would otherwise need to travel to Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Maharashtra. Murrah variety remains the top choice and fetches anywhere from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 1.5 lakh,” said Sangam Lal Pasi, a buffalo trader from the village.
The village residents say that they owe their prosperity to the high-end breed of milch cattle which draw buyers from across the state.
“The income from the trade in buffaloes has enabled the villagers to construct pucca houses embellished with all basic amenities and also buy land for farming and own tractors and tube-wells,” said Vijay Pasi, the village pradhan.
“Money from buying and selling buffaloes has helped us afford good education for our kids also,” he said.
“Today the village attracts buyers from various districts like Bhadoi, Jaunpur, Varanasi, Pratapgarh, Mirzapur and Kaushambi, among others, with annual buffalo trade in the village believed to be worth around Rs 4 crore,” he added.
The villagers buy healthy and good breed buffalo calves from select villages and cattle markets of Haryana and Punjab, and then sell them a year or two later as they mature into healthy milch cattle, helping them make big profits.
“Every year the buffalo traders in small groups head to different villages and markets of Haryana and Punjab in October-November to buy calves,” said Rajesh Patel, one of the villagers with 20-odd buffaloes.
“We buy calves for Rs 20,000 to Rs 40,000 each depending upon the breed and the quality and then transport them in trucks to the village. After proper care and nurturing, these buffaloes sell anywhere between Rs 40,000 to Rs 1.5 lakh each,” he added.
“We have around 2,500 buffaloes of varying ages in the village at any given moment. Two thousand litres of milk is produced every day which is sold and utilised locally,” said Pappu Patel, another local trader.
Many other traders like Ganga Prasad, Ram Singh, Ram Charan, Lalji and Radheshyam however rued lack of government support to further promote the trade.
“Contrary to popular belief, rearing a buffalo calf into a healthy milk-giving buffalo is a tough task and needs good investment. We have to hire private veterinary doctors, bear the cost of medicines and vaccines besides fodder and other care annually and an entire family of the trader has to remain involved. A small vet centre here in the village would be a great help,” they maintained.