Monday, November 21, 2011

Resettling Dairy Cows

Chinese officials in a far-flung outpost of Inner Mongolia have initiated a plan to entice cow-herders to move their cattle into new dairy-farming communities. This seems to be another expression of Chinese officialdom's vision of creating a "modern" agriculture that adapts the industrialized concentrated western model to a crowded Chinese countryside.

This year officials in Inner Mongolia’s Hulunber Banner, Old Barag Town plan are planning a dairy cattle resettlement project. The plan for building demonstration "dairy communities" (奶牛养殖示范小区) was formulated in 2010 with planned investment of 76.6 million yuan (about $12 million). An initial set of five barns with related equipment with capacity to hold 500 cattle were constructed in June. Eleven barns, each holding 100 cows, are scheduled to be completed by the end of November.

Herders who move their cattle into the communities this year will be given free housing, free water and electricity and cattle bedding as inducements and a worker will be available to feed the cattle and maintain the equipment. The milk price will be kept slightly higher than the market price.

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