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Developing the Livestock Sector in Nagaland - Experiences; Advice

by ruchita last modified Jan 31, 2014 10:18 PM

Jun 10, 2010

Following is the extracted text from a consolidated reply to a query posted on the Food and Nutrition Security Community of Solutions Exchange, on June 10, 2010, by S. Hekha Mao, Confederation of Naga Famer’s Union (CONFU), Kohima. 

I am S. Hekha Mao working with the Confederation of Naga Farmer’s Union (CONFU) as Advisor (Animal Husbandry). The organization aims at commercialization of agriculture in the state ensuring welfare and benefit to small farmers.

Agriculture and livestock based livelihoods are of significant importance for the economic wellbeing of Naga’s. Meat is an integral part of the daily food basket. Livestock is symbolic to the health and wealth of Naga families. Investment on infrastructure, support programs and technical knowhow including livestock breeding strategies for productivity improvement seems inadequate so far. We need to envision for a transformational change rather than slow incremental growth. We are facing adaptive situation in many areas and authorities need to ‘let go’ some of their old learning and fixed ideas or borrowed models. The need is to educate, build capacity of local people and work with them, carefully integrating technical expertise for the most viable and appropriate solutions.

Statistics indicate huge drains of economy from the state both because of fodder and feed procurement and import of livestock for consumption.

Some of the issues we are facing include:

  • Conservation and improvement of local livestock breeds
  • Sustainable resource management for feed and fodder supply
  • Community support system for entrepreneurship
  • Integration of technical knowledge to local context
  • Importation of large number of livestock to the state
  • Making livestock based food safe and affordable

I would like to seek knowledge support of the esteemed members of the community on:

  • What have been the experiences from rest of the region in addressing some of the above issues?
  • What could be the strategies for livestock sector in Nagaland?
  • How to deal with issues beyond the technical ones such as coordination among various line departments
  • At CONFU we are also interested in receiving the experience of community members on the National / state level policies that have facilitated similar growth initiatives.
  • Output of the discussion will help CONFU to prepare a background paper possibly translated into the local language for initiating a larger consultation on livestock sector development in the state.

Summary of responses as provided by members of the Food and Nutrition Community of Solutions Exchange

The discussions stressed that while the Confederation of Naga Farmer’s Union (CONFU), learns from the experiences shared by members of the community it is imperative that on account of different physical and environmental conditions, availability of local resources and various government schemes a livestock development model adapted to local conditions and community priorities should be developed. This would need to be based on community involvement and sharing with them the available knowledge and resources so that a collective decision can be arrived at, rather than adopting/replicating a practice which has worked in a different set of conditions.

While some members highlighted that the economic well being of the livestock sector is dependent upon adequate feed and fodder for farm animals since this comprises 55-70% of the value of milk produced by dairying animals, a few others provided specific examples where feed and fodder development activities have brought benefits to livestock rearers. For example the Panchmahal initiative in Gujarat highlighted the improvement in livestock and livelihoods of tribal communities in Gujarat following fodder development activities initiated by the Milk Union in collaboration with Government research farms. The straw treatment programme also helped in increasing the nutritional value of dry fodder. In addition, the Milk Union has established a decentralized system of animal health care services.

ILRI shared its experience from the Mon District of Nagaland to improve livelihoods through piggery development as part of the National Agricultural Innovation Project.

Members stressed that for facilitating and streamlining coordination among various line departments, a first step is to build the capacity of all stakeholders and institutions and consider the formation of a coordination committee to communicate and share knowledge and experience. This would provide a strong basis for the development and subsequent implementation of an effective livestock model. A ‘risk-based approach’ to food safety and hygiene may be more effective than a traditional ‘command and control approach’. A risk based approach relies on a thorough analysis of the whole supply chain identifying critical points in the chain where interventions need to be targeted. This can include awareness raising, education, training, investment in infrastructure and other activities, as appropriate.

Members shared information on interventions where government, NGO or community led initiatives have led to the revival of indigenous poultry, leading to a remarkable reduction in mortality and increased financial benefits from poultry rearing. This also involved creating niche market opportunities for tribal poultry rearers while maintaining the poultry heritage.

The information resources shared by members of the community are rich in content and address all the aspects raised in the query including integration of technical knowledge to local context, conservation and improvement of local livestock breeds, community support systems for entrepreneurship etc.

Related Resources
Recommended Documentation

  • Agripreneur Newsletter; MANAGE; September 2009, available at
  • Reviving the Indigenous Poultry Breed - Kadaknath; Good Practice Note; SA PPLPP; 2009, available at #
  • Unpacking the 'Poor Productivity' Myth; GP Note, SA PPLPP; 2009, available at #
  • Mitigating Diseases and Saving Valuable Assets; GP Note; SA PPLPP; 2009, available at #
  • Linking Business with Pro-Poor Development; GP Note; SA PPLPP;2009, available at #
  • Making Modern Poultry Markets Work for the Poor; GP Note; SA PPLPP; 2009, available at #
  • Backyard Poultry Farming Through Self-Help Groups in West Bengal; GP Note; SA PPLPP; 2009, available at #
  • Replicas of Native Chicken in Rural Poultry Production; GP Note; SA PPLPP; 2009, available at #
  • Regeneration and sustainable management of CPRs can contribute to increased benefit for the livestock dependent poor; SA PPLPP; 2008, available at #
  • Nagaland's Pig Sub-Sector: current status, constraints and opportunities; Project Report; by Deka, R. and Thorpe, W.; ILRI; 2008, available at
  • Livestock Sector in North-Eastern Region of India: An Appraisal of Performance; Study Report; Anjani Kumar, Steven Staal, K. Elumalai and Dhiraj K. Singh; Agricultural Economics Research Review Vol. 20, pp 255-272; July-December 2007, available at
  • Performance of Livestock and Fishery: Constraints for Agricultural Development and Prioritization of Strategies; Note; by B C Bhowmick and D C Kalita; Department of Agricultural Economics; Assam Agricultural University, Jorhat, Assam, available at
  • Evaluation Report on Piggery Breeding Farms in Nagaland; Evaluation Report; Directorate of Evaluation, Government of Nagaland; Kohima, available at

Recommended Organizations and Programmes

  • South Asia Pro-Poor Livestock Policy Programme (SAPPLPP), New Delhi
  • Established with the objective of facilitating and contributing to the development of pro-poor livestock policy and programme implementation.
  • Ch.Charan Singh National Institute of Agricultural Marketing, Jaipur, The Institute has conducted various studies on marketing of livestock products in Assam
  • International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), New Delhi, ILRI’s activities in Asia are managed within livestock value chains, livestock - health- environment linkages and livestock science – knowledge and research
  • Central Institute for Research on Goats (CIRG), Mathura, Undertakes research, training and extension education programmes for improving milk, meat and fibre production of goats and develops processing technology for goat products.