Rajasthan is planning to set up a portal to help people buy and sell cows online, encouraged by the success of e-commerce sites such as OLX and Quikr.com.
The website will host photos, yield, price of cows and contact details of owners for buyers to get in touch with sellers directly.
“Our efforts are to increase farmers’ income and ensure no cow is abandoned. The farmers will receive right price of cattle and role of middlemen will be curbed,” said Rajasthan cow welfare minister Otaram Devarsi.
The portal is expected to come up in six months, said Lal Singh, additional director of the cow welfare ministry.
The government hopes the portal will boost cattle trade in a state with a dedicated ministry for cows. The state has asked farmers to form an association to run the website with the help of the government. It will focus on the two most popular breeds of indigenous cows — Gir and Tharparkar — at first and on Saiwal, Kankrej and Haryanvi later.
Rajasthan has 2,327 shelters with 660,000 cattle, said government figures last year. The livestock census of Rajasthan (2012) put the state’s bovine population at 13.3 million, of which 11.5 million are indigenous. In recent years, the BJP-ruled state has ramped up efforts to protect the cow, an animal considered holy by many Hindus, that has also sparked communal tensions and attacks by self-styled vigilantes
Last month, the cow welfare ministry tagged 550,000 animals with unique identification numbers to ensure their protection and fix accountability on shelters.
Cattle trade is usually unregulated with farmers relying on local middlemen to sell or buy animals at local cattle fairs. Thegovernment hopes that the web portal will centralise the process and eliminate commissions charged by local traders.
Lal Singh said the new dairy farmer association is expected to become the one-point response for consultations on new bovine schemes.
He said the association can also work on procuring qualitative semen, interact with other states associations for better yield and technology methods, can hold expert workshops or training camps for farmers. In addition, it would also work on creating awareness among farmers over government schemes to avail its benefit.