Cattle fair turns Kannapuram lively
As usual, the month of April has made the tiny and otherwise calm Kannapuram hamlet near Kangayam sprightly with farmers/breeders of ‘genetically pure’ Kangayam cattle bringing their animals for trade and display at the cattle festival that began on Tuesday.
The week-long cattle fair is held traditionally for more than 1,000 years on the sidelines of the temple car festival of the three-century old Arulmigu Mariamman temple situated in the area.
According to legend, the cattle fair became a permanent fixture after the visitors who come from far off places to attend the temple car festival started showing interest to buy the animal because they got impressed by the arrival of local people in carts pulled by sturdy Kangayam bulls. Apart from using to pull carts, the urine and dung of Kangayam cattle are used by local people for organic farming.
“Based on interests shown by visitors to buy Kangayam cattle, the local farmers/breeders then started the mela on the sidelines of the temple car festival,” K. S. M. Karthikeya, managing trustee of Senapathy Kangayam Cattle Research Foundation (SKCRF) which is involved in in-situ conservation/breeding of genetically pure Kanagayam cattle, told The Hindu .
On Tuesday, as many as 15,840 cattle were brought by farmers/breeders to the mela with people from other districts and States coming in to buy them.
T. C. Duraisamy (65), a farmer/breeder from Erode who had been participating in the fair for 40 years, termed the event as an impressive congregation point where one can meet buyers from various places together.
“A pair of Kangayam cattle usually fetches me around Rs. 1.2 lakh to Rs. 1.4 lakh at the fair,” he said.
Some of the breeders like N. Moorthy (37) from Dharapuram, who is coming for tenth time, were in joyful mood. On the inaugural day itself, a pair of calves brought by Mr. Moorthy was sold at Rs. 35,000 which is termed as ‘attractive price’ for the cattle of that age.