Punjab’s livestock resources hold considerable potential for increasing the production of meat. It has been estimated that about 6-7 million buffalo/cattle male calves are available for fattening in the Punjab province. But majority of these calves are sent to slaughter at 1-3 weeks of age. Some calves are raised to 60-80 kg on extremely poor and unbalanced diets.
If these calves are saved and raised on balanced fattening diets based on crop residues and agro-industrial by-products to gain live-weight of 250-300 kg, it is estimated that total beef production could be doubled.Experiences so far, suggest that success of meat production/feedlot fattening is only possible.
Though livestock production is very fragmented and most farm units are small and only 10 percent of the farms in the Punjab hold from 10 to 20 buffalo /cows and 5 percent over 20 heads each. Such units are often run by capable and business oriented farmers who seem to be open to change and eager to adopt improved production practices if these prove profitable. Thus if sufficient subsidy and workable production programs are given, their response is quick and positive.
The objectives of the project are envisaged through a triggering mechanism to supply calf ration as under:
1) To save the infant calves for enhancing beef production in Punjab
2) To motivate livestock farmers for feed lot fattening
3) To improve capacity of technical staff & farmers regarding the management of beef farming system