Strengthening Small-Ruminant Based Livelihoods - National Concluding Workshop
Jan 16, 2016
In furthering its objective of building knowledge and capacities, and influencing policy and programmes aimed at promoting smallholder goat and sheep-rearing, SA PPLPP once again brought together a cross-section of stake-holders under one roof on 12 January, 2016, in collaboration with the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries, Government of India, at a national workshop on “Strengthening Small Ruminant Based Livelihoods”, in New Delhi.
The workshop was attended by over 70 delegates, representing over 12 states and Union Territories and 35 organizations, who deliberated on the issues and policy recommendations which emerged in the course of national and regional consultations across the country in the course of a year. The workshop ended with 12 Pashu Sakhis from Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan being awarded honorary membership of the prestigious Goat and Sheep Farmers’ Welfare Association.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr Shyam B Khadka, FAO Representative in India, stressed on the importance of small ruminants in dryland farming and shaping climate resilient livelihoods. He said that goats and sheep offered an effective risk mitigation strategy to small and marginal farmers, especially in rainfed regions, and were an integral element of dryland ecosystems. While underlining the importance of community animal health workers, he said that in replicating and upscaling the models demonstrated by SA PPLPP, the centrality of women in the success of the pilots should not be forgotten.
In the course of the day, delegates shared outcomes of the four regional consultations held during the year; results and learnings from SAPPLPP pilot initiatives in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan; issues and challenges in development of small ruminant based livelihoods in different states; and emerging programmes aimed at developing small ruminant based livelihoods. An interesting finding from the SAPPLPP projects in MP was that the return on investment in the backyard poultry pilot project was more than three times that of the goat-rearing pilot, starting with similar investments in both pilots. Over a two-year term, the goat pilot had resulted in doubling of the goat population, and a 1.6 times return on investment from sale of goats; on the other hand, the poultry pilot had resulted in a 5.8 times return on investment, not counting the intangible gains in terms of empowerment of women, improved access to preventive veterinary services, convergence with local governance institutions, and so on. A major learning emerging from implementation of the pilots was the significance of investment in sustained capacity-building of Pashu Sakhis and livestock-keepers, and the need for combining services for goats with poultry or other livestock, for financial sustenance of the Pashu Sakhis.
Wrapping up the deliberations of the day, Mr Sanjay Bhoosreddy, Joint Secretary (National Livestock Mission), DADF, thanked all the delegates for their enthusiastic participation, and hoped that the deliberations among the stakeholders would continue in different forums and locations. Under his able leadership and missionary zeal, the department had facilitated organization of two national and four regional consultations within a year, bringing together delegates from the government, non-government and private sectors, highlighting the significance of small ruminants and poultry in poverty reduction, and achieving food and nutrition security.
Presentations of all speakers are available here: #