Animal Husbandry, Dairy & Fisheries Sector – Pashudhan Sanjivani, E- Pashudhan Haat, etc

Punganur Cows: The Rare Dwarf Breed Making Waves


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Punganur Cows

Mains level: Not Much

Punganur Cows


  • On the auspicious occasion of Makar Sankranti, Prime Minister made headlines by feeding Punganur cows at his residence in New Delhi.
  • His gesture not only symbolized a cultural tradition but also shed light on this unique cattle breed.

About Punganur Cows

  • Origin: Punganur cows hail from the Punganur municipality in Andhra Pradesh’s Chittoor district.
  • Dwarf Stature: These cows are exceptionally small, measuring just 70-90 cm in height, with an average weight ranging from 115-200 kg.
  • Distinctive Features: They are known for their broad foreheads, short horns, and are ideal for small-scale dairy and organic farming.
  • Milk Yield: Punganur cows are recognized for their rich milk production, yielding 3 to 5 liters of milk daily.
  • Temple Use: Many temples in Andhra Pradesh, including the renowned Tirupati Thirumala Temple, use the milk of Punganur cows for Ksheeraabhishekam (milk offerings to deities).
  • Varied Costs: The cost of these cows ranges from Rs 1 lakh to 10 lakhs, depending on factors like purity and health.

Nutrition in Punganur Cow’s Milk

  • Presence of Gold: Notably, the milk from Punganur cows contains an element identified as ‘Au’, the chemical symbol for gold.
  • High-Fat Content: Punganur cow’s milk boasts a high-fat content of eight percent, in contrast to 3 to 4 percent in other indigenous breeds.
  • Nutrient-Rich: This milk is rich in Omega fatty acids, calcium, potassium, and magnesium, offering significant nutritional benefits.
  • Medicinal Value: The milk is believed to possess medicinal properties, contributing to overall health.

Resilience and Adaptability

  • Drought-Resistant: Punganur cows exhibit remarkable resilience, with the ability to thrive on dry fodder like grass, straw, and hay.
  • Docile Temperament: They have a calm and manageable temperament, making them easy to handle.
  • Disease Resistance: These cows are resistant to common diseases and parasites, adding to their appeal.

Breed Protection Measures

  • Threat of Extinction: At one point, Punganur cattle faced extinction due to a shift towards hybrid cattle for higher milk production.
  • Mission Punganur: In 2020, the Andhra Pradesh government initiated ‘Mission Punganur’ with an allocation of Rs 69.36 crore to boost the cattle population using IVF technology.
  • Enhancing Reproduction: The mission aimed to enhance reproductive efficiency, with plans to produce 8.5 offspring from each cow within five years.
  • PMO’s Involvement: The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) is also part of the conservation efforts, rearing a group of Punganur cattle.

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