The Krishna Valley Cattle breed originated from the areas drained by the rivers – Krishna, Ghatapraba and Malaprabha–in the Bijapur, Bagalkot and Belgaum districts of Karnataka. They are bred in the southwestern part of Hyderabad also. In the past, the distribution of the Krishna Valley cattle was wide and included the Satara, Sangali and Solapur districts of Maharashtra as well asthe Belgaum, Bijapur and Raichur districts of Karnataka. However, now there has been a distinct shift in the breeding tracts -tothe northern parts of Karnataka.
This is a dual-purpose breed of recent origin with an inherent ability to toil in extremely hot and humid climatic conditions. They are a draught breed and are mainly used for agricultural purposes. The cows are moderate milk producers while the bulls are known for their strength and endurance. It is said that this breed has evolved from various cattle breeds belonging to various states, such as Gir and Kankrej from Gujarat, Ongole from Andhra Pradesh and other cattle types of Mysore.
The Kings of Sangli had contributed substantially towards developing and producing this hybrid breed of cattle from the mentioned ‘desi’ strains of cattle. Though it was considered a very important breed, the importance was subsequently lost due to limited use of draught power and the choice of the farmers for high milk producing cattle breeds. Also, due to the softness of the hooves of the animals and also their heavy weight, these animals are not generally appreciated by the cultivators in areas other than in their native homes.
Since this breed is an admixture of various ‘Desi’ breeds from various states, it generally shows a variety of characteristics. However, certain characteristics were emphasized by the original breeders.
The Krishna Valley has decreased substantially (almost 90%, as per some estimates) and efforts to preserve this breed have been taken up on an earnest basis. The National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) has now started projects in the native tract for conservation of this breed. Various programs have been organized to create awareness amongst the people. With joint efforts from BAIF(Bharatiya Agro Industries Foundation) and NGAGR, more than 2500 Krishna Valley cattle are now seen in its native tract.
CowCare.Org continues to support the national movement for conservation of our native breeds of cattle. In our endeavour to accelerate the conservation movement, we have also constructed additional shelters at the Ashram premises, to house more and more varieties of ‘Desi’ breed. We humbly request active participation, in whatever manner possible, from all who are associated with the cause of these divine creatures.