Animal husbandry extension will play an important role in changing the knowledge regarding animal husbandry management, skill in animal rearing practices and attitude towards newer technology of livestock owner which can lead to an increase in per animal milk production.
Livestock sector in our country plays a pivotal role in the rural economy. Livestock contributes 4.40% to total GDP of the nation (National Accounts Statistics-2009; Central Statistical Organisation; GOI). Livestock are assets of poors and about 57.8 crore people are engaged in livestock farming (FAO, 2003).
The income from livestock account for about 30-50 % of total farm income, according to National Comission on Agriculture (1976), 70 % of livestock in India belongs to 67 % of small, marginal and landless labourers, so any improvement in the production of livestock will definitely improve the economic status of these categories.
NEED FOR ANIMAL HUSBANDRY EXTENSION
The livestock keepers in india, majority of whom are small farmers, have traditionally aquired the knowledge about animal husbandry from their elders.Under the ever changing social, economical, technological and market condition, it is our duty to continuously update the small farmers skills so that they can earn a sizeable amount from their livestock enterprise.
Extension services precisely take care of this aspect by providing the farmers information in a manner that he/she can easily understand and use it to improve his/her skills and earn more through better livestock management in a cost effective manner.
CURRENT STATUS OF ANIMAL HUSBANDRY EXTENSION
Traditionally, government favour agriculture as a primary rural activity; neglecting livestock farming to a secondary status. Currently extension activities are mainly carried out by KVKs and state agriculture universities. Very little efforts are made by NGO’s and state government which are inadequate to reach the grassroot level.
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- To impart intensive training to farmers so as to upgrade their knowledge and solve their problems which can lead to better animal health and inturn improvement in production .
- Co-ordinating research, training and extension activities in an effective manner.
- To make optimum use of research by catering to the needs of local people.
THESE CAN BE ACHIEVED BY
- Complete reorganization of animal husbandry extension department in a manner so that the VEW is able to meet the livestock owner in adequate frequencies and on fixed dates.
- Single line of command from government agencies responsible for animal husbandry development to the extension worker.
- The extension personnel should not be assigned any regulatory and administrative work so that they can devote their time exclusively to animal husbandry extension .
PROPOSED MODEL FOR ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF ANIMAL HUSBANDRY EXTENSION DEPARTMENT FOR STATE
Each village extension worker, who is either livestock inspector or any skilled graduate imparted with special training, is allotted 3-5 villages based on
animal population and number of farmers in each village. Each animal husbandry extension officer (AHEO) guides, trains and supervises village extension officers (VEW) under the jurisdiction of their Taluka, who is guided and supervised by deputy director of their district. Deputy Directors are accomplished with the help of state veterinary colleges for updating knowledge of their subject and to solve problem of farmers with help of research scientists. Deputy Directors are supervised by joint directors of their region who are supervised by director of animal husbandry extension.
- Help farmers to evaluate and improve their own farming methods and ultimately improve production.
- Good animal health with fewer expenses on medicine.
- Easy access to information about animal management.
- Help farmers to acquire scientific knowledge related to their problem and solve them as early as possible.
- New concept like clean milk production, organic farming will come into existence on a large scale.
- Increased disease resistance can be achieved through regular vaccination, deworming and feeding of mineral mixture.
- Huge manpower needed to carryout extension activities.
- As interests of the people towards extension activities are limited it is difficult to find people with real attitude and aptitude.
- Majority of animal husbandry activities are carried out by women and often it is difficult for the women to approach male extension workers for information, at the same time availability of female extension workers are very less.
Even though India ranks 1st in milk production, but the per animal milk production is very less when compared to the developed countries. The milk production can be improved only by transformation of current animal husbandry practices at grass root level. Animal husbandry extension will play an important role in changing the knowledge regarding animal husbandry management, skill in animal rearing practices and attitude towards newer technology of livestock owner which can lead to an increase in per animal production.
Dr. Satyam V. Kathiriya* & Dr. Durgga Rani**
*M.V.Sc.(scholar), Dept. of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension Education
College of Veterinary Science & A. H., Navsari Agricultural University, Navsari – 396450
**Assistant Professor, Dept. of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension Education
College of Veterinary Science & A .H., NAU, Navsari – 396450