The report argued that the stubble also has a substantial amount of nutritional value including crude protein, digestible crude protein and other vital nutrients.
The state government of Punjab has proposed a solution to the recurrent problem of stubble burning that causes severe pollution not only in the state but also in its neighbouring states. The government of Punjab has mooted the proposal of utilising the paddy crop remnant as fodder for livestock especially cattle in Gaushalas, the Indian Express reported.
Where has the new proposal come from?
A research proposal submitted by the Ludhiana-based Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) had recommended using the stubble left after the paddy harvest to be used as fodder for animals. The report had also claimed that about 30 percent of the rice straw is already being used as fodder in many South-East countries as well as in Mongolia and China. The report argued that the stubble also has a substantial amount of nutritional value including crude protein, digestible crude protein and other vital nutrients. The report underscored the fact that nationally the country faces the deficit of dry as well as green fodder and the stubble of paddy crop could help in reducing the deficit.
Can paddy stubble be directly fed to animals?
According to an expert from the university the stubble contains High silica and lignin content that reduces its digestive properties. The expert also flagged the higher selenium content in the paddy straw and recommended that not more than 5 Kg per day of paddy straw be given to an animal in a day. The report has further suggested two methods through which the cattle straw must be processed before being supplied for livestock. The two methods that have been suggested in the report are Urea-only treatment and urea plus molasses treatment. The study has found that urea treatment of the stubble could increase the digestibility of the straw from earlier 40-45 percent to 70-75 percent. The study also found a substantial increase in the amount of nutrients in the straw after the urea treatment.In the other method, the straw will be treated with urea as well as molasses to make it a maintenance ration for non-producing animals.
The researchers have maintained that for the maintenance of body weight of animals and nutritional needs, paddy straw alone is not sufficient and it should be supplemented with compulsory minerals and green fodder.