From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :
Prelims level : Military farms, Project Freiswal
Mains level : NA
Military farms have been closed after 132 years of service.
Read till the end to know what Project Freiswal is.
What are Military Farms?
- The farms were set up with the sole requirement of supplying hygienic cow milk to troops in garrisons across British India.
- The first military farm was raised on February 1, 1889, at Allahabad.
- Post-independence, the farms flourished with 30,000 heads of cattle in 130 farms all over India.
- They were even established in Leh and Kargil in the late 1990s.
Why are they shutdown?
- The major task was the management of large tracts of defence land, production and supply of baled hay to animal holding units.
- There have been several recommendations in the past to shut down the farms.
- In 2012, the Quarter Master General branch had recommended their closure.
- Again in December 2016 by Lt. Gen. DB Shekatkar (retd) committee was appointed to recommend measures to enhance combat capability and rebalance defence expenditure of the armed forces.
- For more than a century, the farms with dedication and commitment supplied 3.5 crore litres of milk and 25,000 MT of hay yearly.
- It is credited with pioneering the technique of artificial insemination of cattle and the introduction of organised dairying in India, providing yeoman service during the 1971 war.
- It also supplied milk at the Western and Eastern war fronts as well as during the Kargil operations to the Northern Command.
Another initiative: Project Freiswal
- It utilizes Friesian-Sahiwal cross-breeds as a base for the evolution of a new milch strain – “Frieswal” – through interbreeding, selection and progeny testing of bulls.
- It was introduced on 3 November 1987 at the Military Farm School and Research Centre in Meerut.
- It had the objective of studying the genetic aspects of Holstein x Sahiwal crossbreeds and those of important indigenous cattle breeds for their improvement through selection.