B. V. Parameshwara Prathapa Simha K. C. Veeranna L. Manjunatha Vijayakumar B Shettar G. T. Gopala T. N. Krishnamurthy G. S. Naveenkumar Vol 10(7), 126-132 DOI- http://dx.doi.org/10.5455/ijlr.20200418062955
Malnad Gidda cattle are native to Western Ghat region of Karnataka. They play a crucial role in the livelihoods of farmers. In the context of recent socio-cultural changes in the society, an exploratory research was conducted with the objective of studying the role of Malnad Gidda cattle in livelihoods of various categories of farmers. Data was collected using a structured interview schedule from 216 farmers rearing Malnad Gidda cattle who were selected using multi-stage random sampling, spanning three districts, six talukas and 12 villages of Western Ghat region of Karnataka. Majority of the respondents practiced both agriculture and animal husbandry. Each respondent household had 7.92 Malnad Gidda cattle with an average daily milk yield of 1.61 litres per animal and 3.98 litres per household. Majority of the families had an annual income of less than rupees one lakh from animal husbandry and the average being Rs 1,33,890. Average household annual income from Malnad Gidda cattle alone was Rs. 95,235, which, included Rs. 56,990 (59.84%) from manure, Rs. 37,783 (39.67%) from milk and Rs. 463(0.49%) from sale of animals. Contribution of Malnad Gidda cattle to the overall animal husbandry income was significantly high among small farmers (90.74%) and medium farmers (85.90%) as against 61.59 per cent in case of large farmers. Likewise, animal husbandry income out of the combined animal husbandry and agriculture income was significantly high among small farmers (54%) as against medium (36.8%) and large farmers (35.8%). With regard to purpose of rearing Malnad Gidda cattle, obtaining manure and milk was the major intension. Thus, the results were indicative that Malnad Gidda cattle still formed an integral part of the agricultural milieu of Western Ghat region of Karnataka, especially contributing significantly to the livelihoods of all categories of farmers, especially, small farmers.