Schemes initiated to develop indigenous cattle breeds: Radha
Dimapur, August 7 : Union Minister for Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh today laid the foundation stone of “Training–cum-Guest House” facility at ICAR-NRC on Mithun at Jharnapani, Medziphema. He also unveiled a “statue of Mithun” in the campus.
On the occasion, a model for semi-intensive system of Mithun rearing and the technologies generated by the institute during the last 28 years have been presented.
In his speech, the Minister said that the Institute is working towards the development of technology for scientific rearing of mithun that has not only helped in the conservation of the biodiversity and the rich cultural heritage of the region, but also contributed to the economic development and ecological stability of the NE states.
He said that the tribal community in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur is closely involved in rearing of this bovine species, called `mithun’.
“Even though, the mithun may be genetically different from other bovine species, it has a genetic resemblance with its ancestor `gaur’. The total population of mithun in the country is about 3 lakh, of which, Nagaland accounts for 12%. Looking into this meagre population, there is a great need for putting in breeding and conservation efforts in this direction. And, the NRC Mithun is working toward this.”
Radha Mohan Singh stated that in order to bring stability in the horticulture- based farming system, animal integration is essential. “Though our country possesses the largest number of milch animals in the world, yet their productivity is one of the lowest, which calls for efforts to enhance the productivity.”
Keeping these points in view, the Government of India has initiated schemes like Rashtriya Gokul Mission, Pasudhan Mission and Pasu Chikitsa Yojna under which the efforts are being made to conserve and further develop the indigenous breeds of cattle, the minister said.
Also speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister T. R. Zeliang said that Mithun is the most precious animal for its majestic look and is considered as ‘black gold’ as it is presented at the time of marriage ceremony, being sacrificed at some ceremony and it is the animal which fetches maximum price compared to any other domesticated livestock used for meat purpose. “Mithun is the state symbol of Nagaland and also in the official seal of Nagaland.”
The Chief Minister declared that ‘Mithun Day’ will be observed by Government of Nagaland along with the other Mithun rearing states and the date will be announced very soon. He also announced that Dept. of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry already started sanctioning the Mithun project. He urged all people put together their efforts to preserve the Mithun.