SHILLONG, Jul 27: Union Minister of State for Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries Dr Sanjeev Kumar Balyan while visiting the Intensive Cattle Development Programme (ICDP) Central Semen Bank, Upper Shillong said that the percentage of Artificial Insemination is 5.26 percent in regards to cattle rearing which is very low as compared to the national level which is 30 per cent.
Dr Baliyan, is on a two-day visit to Meghalaya to have a stock of the activities and schemes under the ministry which are being implemented in the State.
On Saturday morning, the Minister visited Pig and Poultry Farm and also the ICDP at Upper Shillong and interacted with doctors, farmers and officials.
While acknowledging the huge potential for dairy and animal husbandry in the State, the Minister said that the farmers can make a good income if they make good use of the potential. The minister, while adding that there is a huge market for the products in the State, said that a lot is still to be done to cater to this demand.
“Still a huge percentage of the requirement of piggery and poultry are being imported from other States, we have to work for making Meghalaya self-sufficient,” said the Minister.
Later in the day the Minister interacted with the doctors, farmers and officials of the department at the Directorate of AH & Veterinary at Lumdiengjri.
Speaking highly of the proposed Meghalaya Piggery Mission, the minister said, “This is a unique project submitted by the Meghalaya government to the National Cooperative Development Corporation and the Central government for the piggery development in Meghalaya which is about Rs 220 crore; in this project there will be around 300 farms across the state which will be managed by cooperative societies”.
His ministry is keen to sanction this project to help the Meghalaya people through pig rearing, Dr Baliyan added.
The Minister of State also said that this can be replicated in other parts of the country as well. He, however, advocated the need to encourage entrepreneurship in addition to cooperatives for the success of animal husbandry as a viable means of livelihood.
The Minister also appreciated the efforts of the Meghalaya government in promoting milk farmers and said that the amount given to the milk farmers by the Meghalaya government is the highest in the country which is Rs 42/litre.
He however expressed his concern over the high feed cost that the farmers have to bear in the state; and the minister assured the farmers that he will request ICAR to find out solutions to produce cheaper feed.
Dr Baliyan patiently heard all the concerns of the doctors and farmers and assured that he will extend all possible assistance from the central government to address their concerns. The farmers and doctors pointed out the lack of manpower, medicine and the need for strengthening the laboratories.
The minister said that his ministry is always working towards the betterment of the services of the doctors and providing facilities for the farmers.