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Deptt of AH&VS’ budget reduced from Rs. 35 crores to Rs. 3.5 crores


State’s meat, milk, egg production decreasing by approx 20%

DIMAPUR, FEBRUARY 19: Over the span of past two decades, the budget for the Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services has come down from Rs. 35 crores to Rs. 3.5 crores, and according to Director of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services, Nagaland, Dr. Budi Lama.
This financial constraint is a litmus test for the Department which has down scaled the development activities and it is time to join hands with private farmers/entrepreneurs and enhance production through PPP mode.
Speaking on the theme “Challenges in the livestock health sector for the Northeast region with special reference to Nagaland” on the occasion of an “Officers’ Conclave”, organized by Nagaland Veterinarians’ Association, held at Niathu Resort, Chumukedima, Lama spoke about a string of issues plaguing the Department in the presence of Advisor of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services and Women Resources Development, R Khing who was special guest for the event.
Lama stated that meat, milk and egg production in the State is decreasing by approximately 20%, which is a matter of concern for the Department and policy makers and this trend needs to be introspected. According to him, there is a need for remedial measures to be put in place so that the production level grows and create synergy on the economy into a vibrant one, besides creating employment opportunities and securing the food basket of the State.
He said with the changing scenario, many entrepreneurs are taking up livestock farming and some are outperforming the Department and this pattern of competitive performance needs to be looked at in a healthy way.
He further stated that unless the Department is more careful in its receipt and returns, it may lose the non-performing farms as most of the farms managed by the Department are running at a loss and the expenditure incurred does not commensurate the revenue.
“This is likely to ire the Government resulting in partial or full disinvestment to private parties. Such policy due to our non-dedication or dishonesty will lead to loss of post creation and narrow the scope of job avenues in the Government sector. Therefore overhauling the present system of livestock farm in terms of target fixation, timely culling induction of good germplasm, stock replacement, quality feeds etc. needs to be reassessed. Further, all farms needs to operate on business mode as they needs to compete with private farms”, he said.
Later, interacting with media persons, the Director stated that while most of the Department-managed farms are running at a loss, there are but many that are doing tremendously well and things have been improving lately. He, however, lamented that there is a lack of quality feed that supplements the “protein” need. According to him, for protein, the procurement needs to be done from outside the region and while developing formulations isn’t an issue, procuring raw materials for the same is.
He also mentioned that the Department faces a lot of issues when it comes to transportations because of lack of vehicles.
Advisor R Khing in his brief remark stated that despite Nagaland being a small State, it has varied problems and added that for Nagas, animals are everything and the Department must make all the sacrifices.
He urged the people to not just run after white-collared jobs but also take up farming and be agents of improving the State’s economy.
Earlier, theme speaker and Dean of College of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, Jalukie, Dr. Arun Kumar Sangwan, on the occasion stated that between 2012 and 2019, the population of pigs saw a dip of 19.65% from 5,03,688 to 4,04,695, the population of cattle fell by 66.68% (highest in the region), while poultry saw a rise from 21,78,470 to 28,38,944. According to him, with the exception of fruits, the NE hill region imports everything when it comes to food grains, milk, meat, and eggs.
On the occasion, he also raised a question if bird flu could become the next pandemic as at least 75% of new human diseases emerge from animals. He, however, stated that there is nothing much that we can do to control the disease.
In his speech, he tried to provide possible solutions to some of the most common problems that farmers face in the region which included limited availability of feed and fodder with high feed cost ingredients, limited availability of superior germplasm among others. He suggested development of low cost feed formulation with locally available feed and promotion of fodder cultivation plan as possible solutions for the issues.
On the occasion he also mentioned that the Veterinary Council of India’s minimum standard of veterinary practice regulations is under consideration and to be finalized soon. Therefore, the Department should submit suggestions now as once the regulations come into effect everyone will have to oblige which might create problems.
(Page News Service)