The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), together with its imGoats implementing partner in India, BAIF, hosted a one-day Experience Sharing Workshop on Goat Development on 2 December 2013 in Udaipur, Rajasthan.
The meeting was attended by the director of the Animal Husbandry Department, Dr Maan, and 10 senior staff from the department, the dean of the Veterinary College Ballabhnagar, Dr RK Nagad, as well as representatives of another goat project in Rajasthan funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, MPower. Also present were representatives from micro-finance institutions, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and staff from other BAIF programs.
The objective of the workshop was to share the findings of the imGoats project and the related recommendations for policymakers. It also provided a platform for staff from other NGOs to share their experiences. There were some interesting discussions and the participants appreciated the opportunity to interact directly with officials from the Animal Husbandry Department.
Below are some of the workshop recommendations for policymakers:
- improve animal health services through collaboration with NGOs to train animal health service providers at village levels whilst ensuring technical backstopping by the Animal Husbandry Department;
- encourage organization of farmers through the establishment of producer groups, federations or cooperatives;
- establish innovation platforms should be encouraged to ensure improved communication between value chain actors;
- improving breeds — though important — should not come before improvements in health and feeding;
- endorse establishment of markets at district level to encourage smallholder involvement; and
- ensure that any production improvement is linked to improved sales of animals to minimize possible negative impact on the environment.
A similar meeting is scheduled for 18 December 2013 in Jharkhand State in Ranchi, the location of the second imGoats project site in India.