ვ86 District but of the Khulna District in the Presidency Division. A reference to the reports of the Agri h ܚܣܦܩܚ A ܚܡܫܝܚܚܩܚܝܒܩܫ̈ܝܚܘ rer cultural separtment of Bengal shows that the steps to be taken for the improvement of the cattle of the province have been “under cons. tant discussion for more than 20 years.” But evidently the discussion has not helped the Government in the solution of the problem which has been growing more and more complicated with the growing shortage of pasture land and the scarcity of bulls for breeding purposes. The breeds of cattle in Bengal can be divided into three classes:- (1) Wild cattle. (2) Hill cattle. (3) The cattle of the plains. It is with the cattle of the plains that we are chiefly concerned. In an article on “Improvement of cattle in Bengal' in the Agricultural Journal of India Mr. E. Shearer advanced the opinion that "Bengal cattle are probably of the same stock originally as those of Hihar, but have become diminutive because they have not been properly fed.' He said-' In this country the common experience is that the quality of the cattle varies inversely with the intensiveness of the cultivation, and hence it is hardly surprising that Bengal cattle are the worst in India. It is For many generations the cattle have been constantly starved, and the result is seen in the almost entirely a question of food-supply. degenerate specimens existing to-day.' But how are we to reconcile this opinion with what he says in another place? He says“ the average cow is such a wretched specimen that the cultivator cannot afford to feed her better than he does. What he wants is a good milch cow which will not only rear a calf, but leave a substantial surplus of milk to her owner. Such a cow he is prepared to pay for and prepared to feed.' If that is so how has the A NATH BANDHU. Volume I. a ܫ bــــخـ -mer vumu- a
Behar cattle degenerated in Bengal through want of food? If the cultivator was prepared to feed the cow well when she had not degenerated so far why did she degenerate through constant starvation? It was not merely a question of food-supply which was not difficult to solve when the growth of the population itu rural Bengal had not rendered the conversion of pasture land into cultivated fields necessary. Various circumstances must combine tu change the nature of the cattle of a province, and such change must be gradual-extending over generations and years. And, as Mr. Blackwood puts it, “it has always to be remembered that these cattle are the ultimate product of their environment and that by a long process of natural selection a type has been evolved most suited to the particular conditions under which they are compelled to live.' The introduction of a new breed of cattle often proves unsuccessful because of new environments. In 'Dairy we read-'The great variations in the Indian climate largely affect the milk yields of cattle imported from foreign Farminy in India' districts. Hansi-Hissar cows will not prove as satisfactory, say in Jubbulpore, as they will in Delhi or Meerut, and this should be borne in mind before condemning the Fansi-Hissar breed. It appears to be a fact that the further they travel east or south (i.e., the damper the climate becomes,) the more certain is the decrease in the yield. The difference between the out turn in Benares, Calcutta and Nagpur will be sharply marked. * * * It is notorious that cattle from the plains going to the hills drop to some times a third and even a quarter of their normal yield, a circumstance which must be due to climatic conditions.' Mr. Blackwood has quoted several instances of decrease in the milk-yield of imported Our experience in the matter But we must cows in Bengal. has been less unfortunate. acknowledge that the heavy imported cows tire illsuited to the conditions of Bengal.