Madhya Pradesh Livestock Development Policy approved by the Agriculture Cabinet
India, November 2011 - The Madhya Pradesh Livestock Development Policy has been sent for notification after its approval by the agriculture cabinet, which met in Bhopal on 31st August 2011 under the chairmanship of the Chief Minister Shri Shivraj Singh Chouhan.
The central vision of the livestock development policy is poverty reduction and ensuring sustainable livelihoods through livestock rearing, thereby leading to self-reliance in livestock rearing and the availability of livestock products.
Key objectives of the policy include increasing productivity in the livestock sector and at the same time ensuring self-reliance, use of improved technology to reduce costs and increase incomes of livestock rearers, timely delivery of services to livestock rearers, support for collectives (farmer groups, producer companies etc.) to facilitate market linkages and the development of guidelines to assess and mitigate the environmental impact of livestock rearing.
The framework to facilitate implementation of the policy stresses on the importance of location specific livestock rearing options, which recognize social and economic diversity, rather than a uniform policy across locations and communities. With its commitment to achieving the Millennium Development Goals and recognizing that livestock rearing is often the main livelihood option for small-holders and resource poor farmers, the policy directs attention to the priority needs of small-holders. The policy accords attention to environmental impacts, ensuring equal opportunities in the livestock sector, priority to women farmers and interventions that ensure income stability. The need to ensure backward and forward linkages; recognition of the different levels of the livestock value chain from production, feeding, breeding, health services, fodder and feed development; provision of credit and support for farmer collectives; collaborative programmes and public-private partnerships; quality monitoring of livestock produce and facilitating linkages with other programmes have been well articulated in the policy document.
There are distinct sections on the framework for health services, breed conservation and improvement, capacity building and up-scaling of livestock development programmes, marketing, fodder and feed development, research, and monitoring and evaluation.
The key elements of each section are briefly enumerated below:
Health Services – the use of technological options to facilitate outreach of health services such as the e-vet network, gaining a better understanding of new diseases and their control, regular vaccination to control diseases, support for the setting up of cold chain facilities, random checking of vaccination supply to ensure maintenance of the cold chain and the declaration of disease free zones are some of the issues stressed upon.
Breed Conservation and improvement – while recognizing the need to identify livestock with improved productivity, the policy document stresses the importance of identifying breeds suitable for specific locations and the implementation of location specific breed improvement programmes, rather than a single programme for the state. The need to ensure breed diversity, and recognition of the potential of non-descript and unrecognized breeds is well-articulated in the policy framework. Cross-breeding is to be undertaken with care, and only after research and study on the results and effects of these interventions. The best bulls are to be selected for both natural service and AI programmes. The work of NGOs related to breed conservation is to be closely monitored, and exotic breeds are to be introduced only in developed areas of the state.
Capacity building and training has been recognized as a priority area in the livestock policy, with specific mention of location specific training tailored to the knowledge and economic level of livestock rearers. Priority is to be given to women farmers, and where possible linkages are to be facilitated with other programmes. Recognising that livestock rearing is often undertaken by women farmers, the policy document stresses on the need for staff of the Animal Husbandry Department to undergo gender sensitization training. The documentation and dissemination of ethno-veterinary practices has also been highlighted.
Linking livestock producers to remunerative markets and the promotion of collectives of small-holders at different levels of the value chain has been accorded priority in the policy document. The development of quality standards and price fixation to ensure a fair share to producers has been highlighted.
The section on fodder and feed development recognizes the importance of developing wastelands and grazing lands as sources of fodder, and also in facilitating dialogue with the Forest Department for the collection of fodder from forest lands. The promotion of crop residue as a fodder resource and the establishment of a fodder bank in each district, as also facilitating public-private partnerships in the development of fodder and feed sources has been accorded priority attention.
Research has been highlighted as a key element in livestock development, and will be undertaken in collaboration with veterinary colleges who will be financially supported to undertake relevant research to promote livestock rearing. As per the Food Security and Standards Act 2006, and other related rules, food safety and quality standards will be developed and disseminated through training to farmers. Rules for safe carcass disposal and the establishment of carcass disposal units and slaughter-houses will be prioritised.
The policy document has distinct sections on dairy and poultry development. The expansion of village level milk collection, creation of pasteurization facilities at district level milk unions and the promotion of public-private partnership models for both market access and input delivery has been stressed upon. The section on poultry rearing recognizes the key role of back-yard poultry rearing in the livelihoods of small-holders. Special efforts will be made to promote the indigenous Kadaknath poultry breed. The introduction of exotic poultry breeds will be limited to commercial poultry production. The importance of regular vaccination in reducing poultry mortality has been recognized, and the policy framework mentions the key role that community SHGs and NGOs could play in the provision of preventive health services, such as regular vaccination and training and information dissemination.
Regular monitoring and the assessment of impact by external agencies has been prioritized. A livestock information database will be developed, and a Review and Monitoring Cell will be established in the secretariat of the Animal Husbandry Department.
Following the approval of the Livestock Development Policy by the Agriculture Cabinet, the Department of Animal Husbandry, Government of Madhya Pradesh is finalizing the perspective plan for the 12th Five Year Plan period and the annual action plan for 2012-13.
Contributed by - Coordination Team with inputs from Dr Rakesh Kumar Sharma, Under Secretary cum Chief Information Officer, Department of Animal Husbandry, Government of Madhya Pradesh