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Indian Army formally closes down military farms
New Delhi, April 1, 2021
The Indian Army has announced the formal closing down of its Military Farms set up way back in 1899 to supply cow's milk to troops billeted in various garrisons across British India.
For more than a century, Military Farms supplied 3.5 crore litres of milk and 25,000 MT of hay every year. They are 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, supplying milk at the Western and Eastern war fronts as well as during Kargil operations to the Northern Command.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, the Military Farms established "Project Freiswal", stated to be the world's largest cattle cross-breeding programme using Friesian-Sahiwal cross-breeds as a base for the evolution of a new milch strain. They also teamed up with DRDO in the development of biofuel.
The first Military farm was raised on February 1, 1889, at Allahabad. After independence, 130 Military Farms all over India raised 30,000 heads of cattle in varied Agro-climatic conditions. Military Farms were established in Leh and Kargil in the late 1990s, for daily supply of fresh and hygienic milk to troops at their locations. Another major task was the management of large tracts of defence land along with the production and supply of baled hay to animal holding units.
After 132 years of glorious service to the nation, curtains were drawn on this organisation. All the officers and workers have been redeployed within the Ministry, an official release said.