The iconic Red Cattle of Chattogram
Red cattle of Chattogram, in short RCC, is also known as Chatgaiya cattle, Sundori Cattle, octave cattle etc. This cow is very common in Chittagong. RCC is already appreciated for its beauty, for its taste of flesh and milk. Once upon a time, according to heritage of Chattogram, the local people did not want to offer any 'qurbani' without RCC. Apart from that, this RCC also had a lot of demand for wedding and funeral ceremony/mezban of traditional muslim community.
This species is being reduced gradually and about to distinct because of massive hybridization of cattle in the region. It is very unfortunate, now the RCC is on the way of distinction list. Red Cattle Chittagong or RCC has some special features, which is a light red, looks round & small, heavy on the back, the skin is thin, and the horns are short and flat. They have short faces, wide, medium types and slightly buds, udders are quite extended, clear milk vein, the tail is long enough and red burning colour on edge of the tail.
Hybridization or artificial development of cattle species in our country began in the seventies. As a result of hybridization, the red cow is being extinct. The difference between RCC and other cows is that its meat and milk is very tasty. Moreover, it's very easier to rear the RCC for less disease and nurture cost. It is high time to take initiative to protect RCC from being extinct because of its demand.
The Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) took initiative to protect and preserve this breed of cow which is known as the RCC project. This project is implementing at Barkal union of Chandanaish upazila of Chittagong District by Mamata-NGO. Recently, Mamata has been Succeed in conducting massive public awareness about the importance of RCC in other regions of Chittagong including the barkal union. Training, financial benefits and technical supports are being given to the marginal peasants of entrepreneurs.
There are several benefits of red cattle or RCC farming. For example, this type of cow has a higher pregnancy rate, almost every year the calf is available. The higher fat content in the milk, higher immunity and at the marginal farming level this type of cow is profitable. A study conducted in 5 Upazila of Chittagong shows that the daily milk production is 2.7 litters, and the amount of milk in a total is 581 litters in 215 days. Another study shows that the high amount of milk is found at the age of 6th - 7th year. With help of Mamata RCC project, local peasants and entrepreneurs are now interested in farming red cattle spices.
Alhaj Rafique Ahmed, the Chief Executive-Mamata, said at a discussion- "Mamata is implementing RCC project with the help of PKSF to bring back the heritage of Chattogram and protect the almost extinct Red cattle species. Meanwhile, small entrepreneurs have started getting advantage of the project, and it is increasing interest in raising the species of cows among the local people. Red Chittagong Cattle is currently a valuable genetic resource in Bangladesh, so it is necessary to protect and spread it through its proper development. But because of the unplanned hybridization or Unplanned breeding is causing other breeds to enter the trait.
So, with the following planned breeding method and development this spices should protect. It is necessary to collect semen from this breed and save the liquid and use it as necessary. The effective step should be taken for saving RCC"
Chittagong District livestock officer said, though bring back the heritage of RCC is very challenging, but now the government initiative is also coming forward. Mamata is working with the help of PKSF and livestock department of government, in the Barkal union of Chandanaish Upazila, which is truly commendable. It is expected this kind of initiative and activities will soon be able to bring back the rearing of this traditional cattle or cow in Chittagong. At the same time this project will protect the species from being extinct.
The writer is development worker