Mani Prasad Sapkota, veterinary doctor of Panauti Municipality, handing over birth certificate of a calf to its owner Kamalamai Timalsina. | Republica
BANEPA, Aug 19: In order to support buffalo farming, the third municipal assembly of Panauti Municipality has prioritized birth registration and distribution of pregnancy allowance programs for buffaloes. This has raised many eyebrows and created enough buzz.
Unlike other local units, the municipality has not prioritized million dollar projects and the concept of ‘smart city’. While publicizing the new programs of the municipality, Mayor Bhim Neupane, stated that the conservation of buffalo also known as ‘black gold’ will bring commendable change in the living standard of farmers.
“Farmers can never bear loss for raising buffaloes,” said Mani Prasad Sapkota, veterinarian of the municipality, adding, “The new policies will help to increase the productivity of buffaloes.” Last fiscal year, the municipality had sanctioned a minimum budget for livestock health and service programs.
In order to encourage farmers to raise buffaloes, the municipality has introduced pregnancy allowance, calf raising, and birth registration programs for calves among others.
According to Sapkota, the municipality has sanctioned a total budget of Rs 9.9 million for conducting more than 100 different programs.
It is the first time the municipality has introduced a buffalo conservation program.
Furthermore, it has made it mandatory for the locals to register the birth of calves and insurance of older buffaloes. Para veterinarian working in the municipality will register the birth of buffaloes by reaching the sheds as soon as they get informed about the newborn calves.
They will also take a photo of the calf with their owner for record. Later, the owner of the calf will be handed over a birth certificate with various details. As only the buffaloes raised at home will be provided with the allowance, the certificate will be handed over in presence of three eyewitnesses and the ward chief or ward member.
Kamalamai Timalsina of Panauti-9 registered the birth of her newly born calf. Assuring everyone of raising the calf with complete care Timalsina said, “Why will I sell this calf if I will be able to get Rs 10,000 grant along with Rs 5,000 pregnancy allowance after it gives birth?.”
“Most farmers sell their buffaloes at low price once they become old and produce less milk,” said Sapkota, adding, “The whole motive of these programs is to reduce this practice.”
Ten years ago, there were more than 10,000 buffaloes in Panauti but now the population has dropped to 4,800, informed Sapkota.
The decreasing number of buffaloes has compelled the municipality to take this decision. Every day, 55,000 liters of milk is supplied to Banepa and Kathmandu from Panauti.
The municipality aims to increase the production and supply of milk by conserving buffaloes.