National Livestock Conference held in Bhutan Aims at Wholesome Development of the Livestock Sector
Bhutan, August 2009 - The Department of Livestock, Ministry of Agriculture, Bhutan organized a National Livestock conference from 27th July to 29th July 2009. The theme of the conference was “Towards realization of 10th Five Year Plan, Livestock program through One Geog Three Products (OGTP) approach”.
OGTP is a noble approach of the Ministry to ensure that the livestock sector should pursue vigorously to achieve the objectives of attaining self sufficiency, contributing to poverty alleviation and minimizing imports of livestock products. According to OGTP approach each block headed by a Gup (Panchayat) must plan and achieve a minimum of three products (activities) as part of the tenth Five Year Plan. The activities undertaken under the aegis of these plans must have a visible positive impact on each block. For instance, Poultry Farmers Group formation is one of the products that was recently realized in the Kawang Block. Similarly feed and fodder development activities, establishing of milk, cheese and butter processing units or formation of dairy farmers or similar groups are some of the products being aimed at in the other Blocks. Though the thrust is at developing plans related to Livestock activities, certain blocks may include plans around crop based agricultural activities too.
The conference was attended by all the District Livestock officers of twenty Dzongkhags (Districts) including the Extension officers, one from each Dzongkhag. Persons’ in-charge of the general farms/units, research centres, and veterinarians also attended the conference.
The inaugural address was conferred by Dr. Pema Gyamtsho, Honourable Minister for Agriculture (MoA), The Secretary of the MoA and the Directors of Agriculture, Forestry and CoRB department. Dr Gyamtsho stressed that in order to achieve the desired goal of One Geog three products the infrastructure will be required to be built within the Livestock Department.
The house noted that there is inconsistency on national figures of livestock census, domestic livestock production and livestock product import figures. It was suggested that current data collection systems be reviewed and appropriate mechanisms for sound data collection must be put in place. The house also stressed that focus should not be only towards production enhancement but processing and marketing aspects must be equally emphasized upon.
A presentation on the SA PPLPP programme was also made highlighting the range of Good Practice notes and Briefs which are available on the Good Practices section of the SA PPLPP website (http://sapplpp.org/goodpractices). The potential GP note on the Conservation of Nublang cattle breed posted on the website was especially appreciated.
National Biodiversity Centre of Bhutan was commended on the valuable references made in their latest publication on the animal genetic resources. The house further recommended the need to have a clear policy and framework for conservation activities.
While a review of Community Animal Health Workers (CoAHWs) was undertaken by the Department a lot of stress was also laid on the timely and adequate supply of inputs to the farms to ensure the success of the programme.
Contributed by - Country Team Bhutan