(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE HINDUSTAN TIMES)
Bovine blues: Army to give away 25,200 heads of cattle to ICAR, state govts
The Indian army will soon be closing down 39 military farms across the country as part of an exercise to trim the workforce in several non-combat areas .
INDIA Updated: Aug 21, 2017 18:46 IST
The army is preparing to give away more than 25,200 heads of cattle to the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and different state governments for rearing, as the force begins shutting down 39 military farms across the country by October-end, army officials said on Monday.
Raised in 1889, the defence ministry ordered the closure of the military farms in early August to cut costs and better utilise thousands of acres of defence land. The 39 military farms are spread over more than 20,000 acres of prime defence land across the country in cities such as Ambala, Kolkata, Srinagar, Agra, Pathankot, Lucknow, Meerut, Allahabad and Guwahati.
The officials said that the military farms supplied more than 21 crore litres of milk to the army, accounting for 14% of the total requirement. The army buys the rest of its requirements locally. The cattle stock includes thousands of high-yielding Frieswal cows, a cross between Dutch Holstein Friesian and Indian Sahiwal breeds.
In a report submitted last year, a defence ministry committee panel had recommended that military workforce could be trimmed in several non-combat areas including military farms.
The 11-member panel, headed by Lieutenant General DB Shekatkar (retd), was tasked with mapping out a strategy to sharpen India’s combat edge and suggest measures to initiate targeted reductions in personnel.
The military farms account for a total work force of 2,000 civilians who work in the defense ministry and 14 combatants, the officials said.