Bhubaneswar, August 29 (LocalWire): The state government has drawn up a blueprint on livestock with emphasis on the improvement and composition of breeds.
The animal husbandry department has drawn up a long term strategy to bolster the livestock sector.
As part of the plan, artificial insemination (AI) of milch animals including cows and buffaloes would be stepped up to reach 20 lakh AIs per year, said the department officials.
Even though livestock is a vital component to augment rural economy, this sector is not properly exploited for income generation by farmers.
Only the landless and near-landless agricultural workers reared livestock to add to their income.
The comparatively affluent farmers mostly lay emphasis on agrarian activities relegating the livestock as a source of income to the rear, they said.
The marginal and small farmers (with landholdings greater than 0.01 hectares but less than 2 hectares) earned very little from livestock activities.
In addition, the cattle farmers encounter practical difficulties of extremely low milk yields, inexplicably high numbers of male cattle and very low levels of organized milk processing in the state, the latest agriculture draft report said.
The breeds will be selected from a list of appropriate high genetic merit bulls, both exotic and indigenous as envisaged in the Odisha Bovine Breeding Policy, they said.
Disease-free and high pedigreed semen will be produced in the frozen semen station of the department and, if necessary, procured from other certified semen stations.
Quality of semen will be ensured before they are supplied to Artificial Insemination centres, they said.
For wider growth in poultry, low-input technology birds suitable to the local climate will be promoted for livelihood support to landless, small and marginal farmers.
In goat rearing spheres, the department will undertake the identification of breeds that grow faster and gain weight quickly under climatic conditions of the state.
Besides, emphasis will be on the genetic improvement of sheep and goat through selective breeding.
A buck exchange programme will be promoted to reduce in-breeding.
Selected breeds of goats and sheep with high quality genetic makeup will be conserved and developed for their uniqueness.
Five breeds of goat- Black Bengal, Ganjam, Ghumsuri, Raighar, Maraguda, and three breeds of sheep from Bolangir, Ganjam and Kendrapara will be in focus in the coming five years through selective breeding.
As per the last-conducted livestock census, the total cattle and buffalo population is 123.47 lakh, small ruminants-80.94 lakh, pig 2.80 lakh & poultry birds 198.90 lakhs.
There is an increase in cross-bred population and decrease of unproductive animals with the implementation of cross breeding programmes, the officials concluded.