Training on the economics of animal health to improve management of disease threats in India

Training on the economics of animal health to improve management of disease threats in India

More than 20 researchers from various institutes of the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR) have been trained on animal disease economics and frameworks for risk analysis and risk management to improve veterinary disease prevention and control in India.

In India, 35% of the losses in livestock sector is due to diseases and pests, said Habibar Rahman, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) regional representative for South Asia. He stressed the role of economic analysis of animal diseases in reducing the impact of livestock diseases in India and globally.

Participants learned the basic concepts of animal disease economics, how to use a system dynamic model for analyzing the impact of animal diseases, the economic importance of veterinary diseases, available resources and costs of veterinary activities. In addition, Karl Rich and Sirak Bahta, ILRI’s agricultural economists, who were resource persons for the training, led sessions on decision-making and exercises on animal disease economics.

Training manuals, presentations and questionnaires were later shared with the participants to help them better understand and practice animal disease economics theory after the training.

Raj Kumar Singhs, director and vice-chancellor of ICAR-Indian Veterinary Research Institute (ICAR-IVRI) in Bareilly, highlighted the importance of animal disease economics in designing disease control strategies. He asked the scientists to calculate the economic gain that the country has achieved out of eradication of certain diseases, for example, Rinderpest and Contagious Bovine Pleuro-pneumonia (CBPP). Noting that India lacks reliable data on animal disease economics, he requested ILRI and ICAR to collect data on animal disease economics for future reference and use saying that the government’s Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying (DADF) could be approached to support the initiative.

Joykrushna Jena, ICAR’s deputy director general for animal science and fisheries, supported the need for primary data collection on animal disease impacts in the country.

The participants are expected to use the systemic dynamic model for analyzing the economic impact of specific animal diseases that are prevailing in their regions and train their fellow scientists.

The three-day (8-10 January 2020) training on animal disease economics was conducted by ILRI and ICAR-IVRI in Izatnagar, India.

(The post was written by Kennady Vijayalakshmy, research and communications officer with ILRI in South Asia, with additional editing by Paul Karaimu, senior communications officer, ILRI).