Banni Breeders’ Association

The Banni Pashu Uchherak Maldhari Sangathan (BPUMS) or the Banni Breeders’ Association was formed in 2008, with the support of Sahjeevan. Presently there are 965 animal breeders who have gained membership in the association. The main objectives of the association are conservation and improvement of Banni breed, conservation of grasslands on which animals graze, establish organized milk market for the region,  create backward integrations like availability of water, animal feeds, value addition and systematic animal marketing, to work for economic and social development of Banni and preserve the local culture and tradition . In order to recognize Banni buffalo, the Breeders’ Association initiated the process of characterization of Banni breed and developing breed descriptor with the support of NGO and Agricultural University. The efforts resulted with the recognition of Banni Buffalo as the 11th breed of the country.

The BPUMS also organizes the annual cattle fair – the Banni Pashu Mela, every year to establish a system of local market for animal trade. Apart from animal trade, various competitions are held for animals and humans; issues related to Banni and the people are taken up for discussion and the culture and tradition of Banni and Kachchh is highlighted in the Pashu Mela.

As far as breeders’ rights are concerned, it is important to accept that breeders’ are the true creators and conservers of genetic resources and these keepers of genes need to be rewarded for their efforts on conservation of genetic resources. It is important for the Government to consult breeders’ association and take their views in deciding breeding policy for the region. The Breeders’ Association has started the movement “Banni ko Banni Rehne Do” (Let it be Banni) against the Working Plan of Forest Department regarding the conservation and utilization of Banni grasslands.