GUWAHATI, June 14 – A 12-day training conducted by the Directorate of Extension Education, Assam Agricultural University (AAU), Khanapara, in collaboration with the Centre for Microfinance and Livelihood, Guwahati under Mahila Kisan Sashakti Karan Pariyojana for Skill Development of the Livestock and Poultry Farmers has concluded at the AAU campus here.
A total of 25 farmers, including a farm woman, hailing from six districts -- Baksa, Goalpara, Nalbari, Dhemaji, Bongaigaon and Chirang -- participated in the programme. Attending the valedictory function on the last day of the training programme, Dr RN Goswami, Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Science, AAU, Khanapara, gave away the certificates among the trainees.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Goswami said that veterinary science is not a new science as conceived by many. “The mention of livestock rearing in the Rig and Atharba Vedas is a clear testimony to the fact that animals were reared and properly treated even in the Vedic era probably in 2000-4000 BC. Enough evidence is there to prove that animal rearing was a common practice in Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa civilization. While the earlier systems of treatment were Ayurvedic and Unani, the present allopathic is a recent development,” he said.
Further, Dr Goswami said, India has attained top position in milk production in the world with its annual yield of 140 million tonnes. “The total value of milk equals almost that of wheat, paddy and sugarcane together. Therefore the economy of our country is largely contributed from the livestock sector which has been growing at 4-5 per cent annually for the last 15 years,” he added.
Dr Goswami lamented that some people would not hesitate to buy Coca-Cola at the rate of Rs. 50 per litre but the same people would usually make a hue and cry when milk price is enhanced even by a single rupee. “Considering the escalating higher cost of production of milk, particularly on items like feed, medicine, vaccine and labour, the price hike of milk is justified,” he said.
On the important activities in the livestock sector, Dr Goswami said that besides breeding, feeding and management, marketing was an important activity because unless and until the farmers marketed their produce at remunerative price, they could not earn profit.
Dr A Chakraborty, Director of Research, Veterinary Faculty, AAU, Khanapara laid emphasis on three aspects, viz., quality breed, quality feed and proper management. He explained that farmers from distance places need not come to Khanapara for receiving training and instead they could avail such training in their respective district’s Krishi Vigyan Kendra, usually called a mini university.
When asked by the farmers about the feed and fodder scarcity during rainy season. Dr Chakraborty advised them to go for fodder cultivation and silage making with scientific method. He also urged the farmers of Nalbari district to collect the waste products, particularly crowns of pineapples used in the recently-opened North East Mega Food Park at Nathkuchi and to make silage from it, thereby earning in thousands with zero input. Earlier, Dr Ranjit Bora, Course Director of the training programme, presented a brief report where on the training programme in which 44 classes were conducted.