On 31st March, after 132 years of service Indian Army has closed its Military farms across India. Military farms are the farms that were formed with an aim to supply hygienic cow milk to troops in garrisons across British India.
- Now, the military farms have been closed and all the officers and workers of the farms have been redeployed within the Ministry of Defence to continue providing service to the organization.
- Various recommendations were given in the past to shut down the farms.
- In 2012, the Quarter Master General branch had recommended their closure.
- After this again in December 2016 Lt. Gen. DB Shekatkar committee also suggested the shutdown of farms.
- The first military farm was formed on 1st February 1889, at Allahabad.
- After India’s independence, the farms increased with 30000 heads of cattle in 130 farms across India.
- In 1990s, farms were even established in Leh and Kargil.
- For over a century, these farms supplied 3.5 crore litres of milk and 25,000 MT of hay yearly.
- The farms were required as cantonments were located at a distance from urban areas.
- Now with urban expansion, cantonments have also come within towns and cities and milk procurement is being increasingly done from the open market.
- Various allegations of corruption surrounding the farms were also noticed over the years. This was also one of the reasons contributing to the shut down of the farms.
- These farms are also credited with introducing organized dairying in India and pioneering the technique of artificial insemination of cattle.
- These farms provided yeoman service during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971, supplying milk at the Western and Eastern war fronts as well as during the Kargil operations to the Northern Command.
About Project Freiswal
They established “Project Freiswal” in association with the Union Ministry of Agriculture. Project Freiswal is credited to be the largest cattle cross-breeding programme across the world. These farms also teamed up with the DRDO in the development of bio-fuel.
Indian Army closed Military Farms