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Goat and Sheep Farming High on Indian Agenda

10 February 2015

INDIA - A national partnership is striving to strengthen sheep and goat production to benefit poor and marginal families relying on the industries.

Goat rearing needs working on so that farmers make profits, according to Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), Anup Kumar Thankur. 

Speaking at a two day workshop titled ‘Strengthening Small Ruminant Based Livelihoods’, he said herders and flockmen need a sustainable livelihood.

This was at the South Asia Pro Poor Livestock Policy Programme (SAPPLPP) in collaboration with the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DADF), where  T. Nandkumar, Chairman, National Dairy Development Board (NDDB) said stressed the need to have a link between farmers and Government organizations. Recommendations made at the two day workshop were:

• Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) should develop proposals for improving productivity of common lands, a stronghold of small ruminant production, and that water bodies along migratory shepherding routes should be developed.

• A need for preparation of occupational standards for CAHWS as well as specifications on quality and performance of services provided.

• Separate guidelines for sheep and goat development are necessary since sheep rearing is generally a primary vocation of the rearers while goat rearing is a supplementary activity.

• Design of breed improvement programme and breeding goats may be decided in consultation with livestock keepers. Community led breed improvement programmes must focus on formation of Breeder’s Association for conservation of indigenous breeds and their genetic improvement through selection.

• Use of ICT based tool for migratory shepherds may be encouraged and facilitated to enable them seek assistance on livestock health and production and obtain advice and information on related matters.

• There is a need for creation of a mechanism for inter-ministerial coordination of land use planning and policy for common land, wasteland and grazing areas. Involved departments may be animal husbandry, forest, rural development, agriculture & cooperation, water resources etc.

• Animal shelters to be designed in accordance with the local agro climatic conditions.

• Community health workers need clearly defined roles, have discourse with local veterinarians and be accountable to the farmers. 

• Inclusion of community based livestock insurance within the framework of National Livestock Mission (NLM) was strongly recommended as a strategy for risk reduction is small livestock holdings.

• Developing livestock market infrastructure could be flagged as a priority area for the government.

Jagdish Kumar, Editor

Jagdish Kumar, Editor

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