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Prime Minister Narendra Modi fed cows at his residence, 7 Lok Kalyan Marg, on the occasion of Pongal/ Makar Sankranti on Sunday (January 14). In photographs released by the Prime Minister’s Office, Modi can be seen offering green fodder to a group of about six cattle. Officials in the government confirmed that all the cattle seen in the pictures from the Prime Minister’s residence are of the Punganur breed of Andhra Pradesh.

What is Punganur cow?

  • The Punganur is an indigenous breed native to the Punganoor, Vayalapadu, Madanapalli, and Palamaneer talukas of Chittoor district in the Rayalaseema region of southern Andhra Pradesh.
  • They are a unique dwarf breed, considered the shortest humped cattle in the world.
  • Their small size makes it easy to keep them at home.
  • Punganur cows can be white or grey, or of shades of light or dark brown.
  • They have small, crescent-shaped horns of 10-15 cm length, which often curve backward and forward in male cattle and lateral and forward in female cattle of the breed.
  • Females have slightly longer horns than the stumpier ones in males.
  • Of the pure breed of Punganur, the 2019 livestock census recorded the largest number, 8,806, in Andhra Pradesh, followed by Telangana (977), Karnataka (66), Kerala (15), Maharashtra (6), and Tamil Nadu (6).
  • In the Punganur graded category too, the largest numbers were recorded in Andhra Pradesh (2,725), followed by Telangana (399), Karnataka (351), Tamil Nadu (10), and Kerala (4).
  • The Andhra Pradesh government has provided financial support through its budget for the promotion of the Punganur breed, and the Centre has sanctioned funds for the establishment of Gokul Gram at the P V Narasimha Rao Telangana Veterinary University, Hyderabadfor the promotion of Punganur and other indigenous breeds of cattle in Telangana.

The National Kamdhenu Breeding Centre (NKBC) for the southern region has been established at Chintaladevi, Nellore, in Andhra Pradesh.