The creation of a separate ministerial portfolio for animal husbandry, dairying, and fisheries for the first time by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his second term has aroused keen interest in the agricultural policy space.
On September 23, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the World Bank, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, the European Commission, Switzerland, Sweden and Germany announced commitments of more than US $790 million to address the impact of climate change on food and agriculture. These commitments followed a recent call by the Global Commission on Adaptation, led by Ban Ki Moon, Bill Gates, and Kristalina Georgieva, for increased resource allocations to international agricultural research.
Venture capitalists have been increasingly active in India, though until recently nearly all of them have been looking to invest in Silicon Valley-like dot-coms. Odisha state, the heart of Mr. Misra’s proposed new dairy start up, is one of India’s least-developed regions, far off the radar screen even of investors based in the country.
Bihar is gearing up for a ‘livestock master plan’ being prepared for it by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI). ‘It is almost ready and ILRI experts will present its draft to the government here on July 4. The master plan, which will be for a 15–year period, will emphasise on various steps to give a push to dairy, goat-rearing, poultry, piggery and other allied sectors with an aim to improving food security and reducing poverty through better and more sustainable use of livestock.
ILRI is working with small-scale women dairy producers who are members of a large women’s dairy cooperative in the semi-arid Telengana state of India—the Mulkanoor Women’s Dairy Cooperative. The are growing sorghum for a cash fodder crop.
‘With per capita consumption of pork in Nagaland highest in the country, Nagaland Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services department has launched artificial insemination (AI) of pigs in the State on a pilot basis to boost pig production, double farmers’ income as also to eliminate diseases in pigs.The department launched the project in association with ILRI, ICAR-National Research Centre on Pigs, North East India Development Agency and Tata Trust.
The livestock sector plays a significant role in development, but Dr. Jimmy Smith, director general of the International Livestock Research Institute, says this is not reflected in official development assistance—which contributes less than 0.25 percent to livestock.
Jimmy Smith visited Australia between April 3 and April 7, as the last leg of a global trip. In each country, he pushed for greater ODA toward livestock sectors in the developing world. During his stay, Smith discussed his thoughts with Devex.