India’s northeast Bihar State gears up to approve and implement a ‘livestock master plan’

Village household scenes from northeastern India (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

Bihar is gearing up for a ‘livestock master plan’ being prepared for it by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI).

‘It is almost ready and ILRI experts will present its draft to the government here on July 4. The master plan, which will be for a 15–year period, will emphasise on various steps to give a push to dairy, goat-rearing, poultry, piggery and other allied sectors with an aim to improving food security and reducing poverty through better and more sustainable use of livestock.

Village household goat keepers in eastern India (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

‘Officials of state’s animal and fisheries resources department (AFRD) have been in constant touch with ILRI via video-conferencing and other mediums over the past several months, providing inputs and other information required by leading international experts involved in the master plan. . . .

‘Work has been going on since December and experts have done a detailed analysis of various aspects of livestock, like training staff and integrated models that can be successfully implemented here. Our aim is to increase productivity.’
—Department Secretary N Vijayalakshmi

‘. . . The state government sent a three-member team of AFRD officials, including Vijayalakshmi, Bihar Livestock Development Agency project director Amitabh Singh and veterinary doctor Surendra Nath Mishra to an ILRI centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to see how they have prepared a livestock master plan for the African country and implemented it.

‘The team that was in Ethiopia from June 1 to 10 focused on finding out the best way to roll out the master plan and seems to have decided to do so in a public-private-partnership (PPP) mode.

Two young chickens groom themselves atop a black Bengali goat in a household courtyard in eastern India (photo credit: ILRI/Susan MacMillan).

‘Bihar at present has over 3.25 crore livestock [32.5 million]—1.97 crore [19.7million] of them bovine, including 1.22 crore [12.2 million] cows and 0.75 lakh [750,000] buffaloes. There are around 1.25 crore [12.5 million] goats, around 6.5 lakh [6.5 million] pigs, some horses, camels and donkeys. The figures do not include poultry, which too falls under livestock.. . .’

‘Our state has the third largest goat population in the country. The breed here is largely Black Bengal. It is a meat-yielding breed, as against milk, and given proper attention, Bihar could easily become a top meat exporter.’
—Senior AFRD official

Read the whole article by Dev Raj in the The Telegraph (India): Livestock master plan soon, 24 Jun 2018.

Read other news about ILRI’s work in eastern India:
India’s Odisha State and ILRI join forces to improve livestock feeding and mechanization, 7 Jun 2016.
Odisha Odyssey: A look at the emerging commercial dairy value chains in eastern India, 12 May 2016.
Odisha Odyssey: The Arcadian landscapes and tribal goat keepers of Mayurbhanj, 9 May 2016.