Why is it in News?
Military farms have been closed after 132 years of service.
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 being 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.
What is significance of these Military Farms?
- 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.