Military Farms Centenary



The Military Farms are the oldest Organisation in the country in the field of cattle husbandry and modern dairying and have pioneered the development of crossbred cows. Established first at Allahabad in 1889 they now complete 100 years of their existence. The origin of this organisation can be traced back to the closing decades of the 18th century and early 19th, when the first Regimental dairy was founded somewhere in the Deccan by a British regiment whose personnel brought good cattle from England. This led to the growth of many regimental dairies.

At the close of the 19th Century it was observed that such regimental dairies hampered the unit mobility, so they were converted into Government Military Farms, organised into various circles. Permanent staff was introduced to run these farms on scientific lines. The herds of the erstwhile regimental dairies were inherited by the Military Farms.

By the beginning of the 20th Century, Military Farms as an organisation were well established. In the present context, the utility and contribution of Military Farms to the Defence Services and the Nation is invaluable.

Military Farms have played a vital role in supplying milk, vegetables and fodder to troops both at home and abroad during the first and second World Wars besides the wars in Mesopotamia, Abyssinia and the three frontier wars. Since independence, they have given good account of their service during hostilities in 1948, 1962, 1965 and 1971 and met the milk and fodder needs of fighting forces in most of the operational areas. Apart from serving the needs of the country's fighting forces they have rendered yeoman's service and made significant contributions to the nation's cattle development. Their chief contribution has been the breeding of high milk producing potential crossbred cows to suit the country's climatic and agro-management conditions, besides standardising cattle feeding and management techniques. Further, with nearly 18,000 heads of cattle (10,500 Adults) producing over 265 lakh litres milk, Military Farms are one of the leaders of organised cattle husbandry in the country. In the past their cows have been winning numerous coveted prizes for their high milk yield at various Cattle/Livestock shows. The meticulously maintained data of their cattle and its generous availability to students has contributed to education and research in Animal Husbandry. Their contribution to cattle development in the country has been given due recognition by the National Commission on Agriculture in 1976 which has since resulted in various cattle related breeding and evaluation projects including the Frieswal Project in collaboration with the Indian Council of Agriculture Research (ICAR).

Date of Issue: 18.8.1989