An over 100-year-old practice of the Indian Army of running military farms to provide dairy needs to the force is finally being done away with.
The Ministry of Defence has asked the Army to shut down these farms by October end.
The decision to close down the farms are part of the exercise to make the Indian Army more lean and nimble reducing the non-combat component of the force.
The Ministry of Defence is exploring possibilities and in touch with the Ministry of Agriculture and Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries to work out a plan.
Earlier, between 2013-2015 a few farms were closed, the remaining will be closed in the next few months.
The Indian Army runs 39 Military Farms across the country and the farms occupy nearly 20,000 acres.
The military farms were started nearly 130 years ago by the British to supply the India Army with milk products.
Over the years, however, the utility of the farms have diminished.
They now contribute a mere 14 percent of about 210 million litres of milk annually consumed by 1.3 million-strong Indian Army.
The farms are located in places like Delhi, Jabalpur, Ranikhet, Jammu, Srinagar, Kargil and Udhampur Ahmednagar, Gwalior, Mhow Secunderabad, Jhansi, Dimapur, Guwahati, Jorhat, Panagarh, Kolkata, Ambala, Jalandhar, Agra, Pathankot, Allahabad, Lucknow, Meerut, Kanpur among others.
By closing down the farms – some of which occupy prime defence land – the Indian Army will be freeing up land that it desperately requires to set other infrastructure like housing for its men and officers.
The military farm has about 19 officers and about 1,500 and 2,000 civilians.
And it cost the Indian exchequer Rs 300 crore to maintain these farms.