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National Workshop on Community-led Conservation of Local Livestock Breeds, National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, 8-9 March, 2013

by ruchita last modified Jan 22, 2014 03:12 PM

Apr 10, 2013

SEVA, Madurai in association with the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) and the LIFE Network1 convened a National Workshop on Community-led Conservation of Local Livestock Breeds followed by the Breed Saviour Awards Ceremony 2012, on 8th and 9th March 2013, at NBAGR, Karnal.

As a part of the event, 19 livestock rearers from across the country were conferred the Breed Saviour Award for 2012 for their efforts in conserving and managing indigenous livestock breeds. The 19 awardees included large and small ruminant rearers, poultry rearers, animal healers and representatives from shepherd groups. The Breed Saviour Awards are funded by the National Biodiversity Authority, and comprise a certificate of recognition and a cash prize of Rs 10,000. The event was attended by 63 participants representing livestock breeder groups/ gaushalas, NGOs, scientists and pastoralists. 

The Breed Saviour Awards 2012 was the fourth award ceremony following the commencement of this award in 2009. A total of 84 livestock rearers from across the country have received this award since then.  

The award ceremony commenced with a welcome address by Dr DK Sadana, Principal Scientist, NBAGR followed by a brief overview on the award process by Mr P Vivekanandan, Executive Director, SEVA Madurai, wherein he provided information about the selection criteria2  for nominations received from across the country.   

dayalibaiDr BK Joshi, Director, National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR) in his keynote address stressed on the need for recognition of community efforts for breed conservation, since rearing of indigenous breeds in their native tracts is the best way to conserve national biological diversity and culture. He informed that NBAGR recognizes these community initiatives and is dedicated to complement the efforts made by local communities. Dr Joshi also shared that the 12th Five Year Plan has provision to recognize and build upon similar efforts by way of forming breed societies and promoting collective institutions of livestock rearers. 

During the technical session that followed the inaugural session, pastoralists and livestock rearers provided a brief overview of their breed conservation and management practices. Some of the observations shared by livestock rearers were:

  • While most  livestock rearers did not take up the rearing of any other breeds in order to maintain the cultural heritage bestowed upon them by their forefathers, a few did take up the rearing of cross-bred livestock, and through this experience learnt that  indigenous breeds were the most suitable for the existing resource base.  
  • Most small ruminant rearers have decreased their herd/flock size on account of a severe decline in the availability of potable water, and feed and fodder for their livestock. This is on account of the reduction in grazing lands, restrictions on grazing on account of demarcation of sanctuaries and protected areas and deforestation. 
  • Decrease in labour was also identified as an important cause for the declining trend in conserving indigenous livestock. Livestock rearers shared that their children are not willing to take up this labour intensive occupation any more. 

A list of the awardees of the Breed Saviour Awards 2012 in the small ruminant and poultry categories is presented below:  

  1. Humji for the Kadaknath Poultry bird from the Jhabua district of Madhya Pradesh
  2. Dharmaram Raika for the Bhagli Sheep from Pali district in Rajasthan
  3. Pancha Gujar for Alwari goats in the Alwar district of Rajasthan
  4. Rabari Karshanbhai Dharabhai for conserving the Marwadi Sheep in the Kutch region of Gujarat
  5. S Muniyasamy for conserving the Ariadu sheep in the Ramanathapuram district of Tamil Nadu
  6. A Senthilkumar for conserving the Coimbatore sheep in the Coimbatore district of Tamil Nadu
  7. Gunasekaran for conserving the Ramnad white sheep in the Tirunelveli district of Tamil Nadu 
  8. D Senthilkunar for conserving the Salem Black goat in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu
  9. T S Palanisamy and Devarajan for conserving the Mecheri sheep in the Salem district of Tamil Nadu
  10. Palani for conserving Attapady Black Goats in the Palakkad district of Kerala
  11. Dayalibai Raika for providing her services as an animal healer and an advocate for Livestock Keepers’ Rights in the Pali district of Rajasthan

A detailed listing of the profile of livestock keepers’ awarded the Breed Saviour Awards can be accessed from the following link:



1 Local Livestock for Empowerment (the LIFE Network) is an action research and advocacy network of organizations and individuals who are concerned about the future of local livestock breeds, and about the people who rely on these animals for their livelihoods (

2 The selection process for the Breed Saviour Awards commences with the submission of nominations from livestock rearers, pastoralists, breeders’ associations etc. on a pre-defined format. These nominations are thereafter screened by a three member committee represented by two members from the Life Network and one representative from the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR). Screening of nominations is on the basis of the role of livestock rearers in conservation, breed development and knowledge dissemination on improved management practices; value addition of animal products and marketing; and on ensuring livelihood security for disadvantaged communities and groups, particularly women.  



Photocredit - NBAGR

Contributed by - SA PPLPP Coordination Team