National Breed Saviour Awards 2011
India, January 2012 - SEVA in association with LIFE Network and with support from the National Biodiversity Authority organized a function in Chennai on 10th January 2012 to give out the National Breed Saviour Awards 2011, recognising individuals and organisations that have worked on the conservation and promotion of indigenous livestock breeds. The function was part of a workshop on Community Conservation of Local Livestock Breeds.
This was the third award ceremony in the series with the previous two held in 2009 and 2010 respectively. This year the award has been conferred on 20 pastoralists / livestock rearers, who have successfully conserved indigenous breeds of livestock from across the country.
Article 8 (i) of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) recognizes indigenous knowledge and under the access and benefit sharing regime of CBD, incentives are proposed for communities who conserve genetic diversity. SEVA’s initiative in organising the Breed Saviour Award in collaboration with the LIFE network is based on this objective. The award is a token of recognition of local communities who are contributing to the conservation and sustainable management of indigenous livestock breeds, many of which are almost extinct.
Some of the breeds and their rearers who received the awards this year include the Kharai camel breed; the Attappady Black, Ganjam, Kaniyadu, Naattu Karuppadu and Osmanabadi goat breeds; the Hajra and Kuji poultry and duck breeds respectively; the Bargur, Pulikulam, Nattumadu, Kangayam, Malnad Gidda and Sahiwal breed of Cattle; and the Bolangir , Chevvadu and Karisal breed of sheep. The awardees were from the states of Gujarat, Kerala, Odisha, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Maharashtra and Punjab.
The awardees include a Cattle Herders’ Group called “Alagumalaiyan Paramparia Pulikulam Kidaimadugal Valarpor Suyaudavikulu”. This Madurai based group comprises 23 livestock keepers, who rear the Pulikulam cattle breed and have in addition organised themselves in a savings and credit programme. The Vishav Namdhar Sangat is another group based in Ludhiana, Punjab that runs a Gaushala to conserve the Sahiwal cattle breed.
The profiles of the livestock rearers mention that most of them have been rearing these breeds for over three generations and follow traditional breeding systems. These breeds are primarily maintained on an extensive rearing system, grazing and browsing on common lands and village pasture lands, with labour as the main investment. Traditional ethno-veterinary practices are documented and disseminated among livestock rearers.
The National Biodiversity Authority is planning to formalise the Breed Saviour Awards as an institutional award from 2012 in partnership with relevant organizations.
Contributed by - Coordination Team with inputs from Mr P. Vivekanandan, Executive Director, SEVA