Military officers and jawans will no longer get their milk, butter and paneer from fauji cows. The 13-lakh strong Army on Wednesday conducted the last flag ceremony to officially disband military farms, which were progressively being closed across the country over the last several years.
The decision to shut down military farms, which had become part and parcel of cantonment life since the first one was raised at Allahabad in 1889 to supply hygienic cow milk to British Indian troops, was taken a few years ago.
For one, military cantonments are no longer far away from cities and towns with rapid urbanisation, and there is widespread availability of milk and milk products in the civilian market. Moreover, the Shekatkar Committee report to enhance combat capability, slash non-operational flab and rebalance defence expenditure in December 2016 had also recommended closure of all military farms, among other measures.
“After Independence, military farms had flourished with 30,000 heads of cattle in130 farms all over India in varied agroclimatic conditions. Military farms were even established in Leh and Kargil in the late 1990s,” said an officer.