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Orissa in the lime light: ICT4D application in the livestock sector

by ruchita last modified Jan 22, 2014 10:11 PM

Jan 16, 2009

The Orissa Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department has initiated an exemplary effort to bridge the communication gap in the field of livestock development by harnessing the Information, Communication, Technology tools for development (ICT4D).

In year 2007, the department introduced a cost effective “SMS based reporting system” to ensure access to information related to animal health care and breeding services to all the functionaries of the department ranging from the district to village level. The mobile phones are used as the devices to collect and disseminate the information while the well trained MIS (management information system) staff provides back end support in compiling, analyzing and transmitting the information. The regular information flow has also brought about accountability and transparency within the system.

The frequent recurrence of animal diseases necessitates having an effective surveillance system that can help define suitable control measures on a real time basis. The aforesaid system is dedicated to achieve the same and thus contributes to more efficient livestock service delivery. In practical terms we learn that all reports on Artificial Insemination (A.I.) and vaccinations are reported through email as well as SMS, while SMS is also used for getting help of senior officers/director in cases of emergency. In addition, the system is also used by the decision makers to convey some urgent messages and instructions in cases needing immediate action (e.g. disease outbreak, break in supply of liquid nitrogen etc).

According to Dr Kornel Das, a livestock expert and retired officer of the concerned department, a marked impact in improvement of livestock production among Orissa farmers has been observed. This is due to better market demand and improved animal health and livestock extension services working in the State. He shared that the number of artificial insemination as well as the conception rate has significantly improved within a relative short period. He further emphasized that Orissa could effectively evade the recent Bird Flu outbreak which had otherwise affected the neighboring States like West Bengal and Assam; and this effective SMS based reporting system played a crucial role.

We very much hope that the Department will further strengthen their SMS based reporting system so that even the remote corners of Orissa can count on timely and effective livestock services. Would Orissa then be the first State where the poor keeping scavenging poultry birds, sheep and/or goats will have access to basic vaccination schemes for their animals?

For the keen reader, be aware that Orissa has a State Livestock Policy - - as well as a website which is regularly up-dated.

Contributed by - SA PPLPP Coordination Team

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