Supply Chain Development for Sheep and Goat Sector – Strategic Inputs (Part 2)

Vijay Sardana

This is the concluding part of the two part series. For previous part please click here.

Entrepreneurs are facing many problems in interstate transportation of the live animals. The traffic police, respective state police, other state departments and organisations working on animal rights harass them. They are also lacking in the proper facilities for the transpiration of animals for long distance destinations.

There is a need for National Livestock & Meat Products Transportation Policy. It is required to ensure interstate movement of animals without any harassment on highways by various state authorities, NGOs and their field staff. Animal Husbandry Department, in consultation with various stakeholders, should develop Good Transportation Practices Guidelines for Live Animals

Slaughtering Infrastructure and Practices for Meat Industry

Slaughtering facility is the important component of the meat industry. Lack of proper and modernised slaughtering facilities and infrastructure, less number of slaughterhouses in rural areas, no traceability records, bad hygienic conditions and lack of certification of the slaughterhouses are the few problems, which entrepreneurs face.

The major issues related to Slaughtering Infrastructure are as follows:

Animal Slaughter Policy is required to promote Hygienic Meat Production

  • National Policy on Slaughter Houses for Hygienic Meat Production to protect public health must be formulated to avoid any conflict between investor and state governments. It should help in identification of specific areas for slaughtering and processing, where necessary infrastructure along with govt. permission is available.
  • Marketing of animals & slaughtering facilities in rural areas must be given priority to start with ensuring that all animals slaughtered are inspected by a qualified 'meat inspector'. A concept of 'village meat inspectors' can be promoted or be part of tasks assigned to village animal health workers
  • Veterinary public health/ meat inspection and certification for hygienic meat production by the veterinarian / health department are the big challenge – Municipal Slaughter Houses must go for Mandatory HACCP Certification or IS-14000 certification within one-year time.
    It is high time that Union Dept. of Animal Husbandry in Union Ministry of Agriculture and State Animal Husbandry Departments should look into these matters on urgency basis in consultation with Department of Health, Department of Urban Development, Important City Municipalities and Municipal Corporations to ensure humane slaughtering and hygienic meat for society.
    Livestock Trade and Hygienic Meat Marketing Infrastructure
    Marketing of the product is the backbone of any successful venture. Farmers and entrepreneurs are facing problems like lack of market yards and other infrastructure for live animals in the market, non-availability of proper meat quality standards and grades and poor hygienic conditions of the meat.
    There is a need to have Livestock Trade and Hygienic Meat Marketing Infrastructure. These can be developed in the following manner:
  • Marketing Infrastructure in every district should be ensured for hygienic handling of livestock products and sale and purchase of live animals.
  • Marketing standards and grades for the live animals must be developed to ensure transparency in trade in the interest of the farmers
  • Private sector should be encouraged to develop marketing and slaughtering infrastructures in coordination or partnership with rearer / farmer organizations (producer company/ rearer cooperative/ federation of SHGs etc.) under an integrated system on PPP mode.
  • Meat Retail Outlets Designs for selling hygienic quality meat should be promoted; this will help local roadside meat shops to supply hygienic meat to the public without raising any controversy.
    This activity can be initiated under PPP mode in line with terminal markets for Horticulture produce.
    Research Support for Sheep and Goat Sector
    Development of the new technologies and improved genetic material for the Sheep and Goat Sector can help in bringing down the cost of production and increasing profitability of the farmers and entrepreneurs. Farmers and entrepreneurs are facing problems related to quality, quantity and cost of replacement stock, their genetic quality, high cost of health care, lack of proper feeds, advanced slaughtering and transportation infrastructure and the economics of production. By giving thrust on the research and development of new technologies the cost of production can be reduced.
    The following are major issues relating to Research and Development:
  • In every research and extension programme the economics of the sheep and goat business that distinguish between different systems namely ranging from extensive (nomadic) to intensive staff feeding systems, the background of goat and sheep keepers and linking of research - extension with sheep & goat rearing communities must be kept in mind.
  • Research should focus on promotion of cost effective health care and use of unconventional biomass for feeding practices
  • For intensive rearing systems, advanced technologies (embryo transfer, cloning / splitting/ sexing of embryos, heat synchronization for breeding etc.) for producing required number, size and quality of quickly growing rams and bucks well synchronized to the festival seasons of high meat demand) for distribution among rearers / farmers (comparable to the hatchery system in poultry) should be adopted.
  • Government Farms could be developed as the role model for the farmers allowing them to learn. These should be used for the exposure visits, practical training, etc.
  • Research topics and activities must be finalised in consultation with Commercial Players, rearer organizations, feed/input suppliers etc.
  • R&D institutions must be sensitized to appreciate economic performance, targets and timelines in order to work with private sector under PPP models.
  • Research Policy Feedback system must be introduced to review the policy decisions in case policies are not delivering.
    Regarding vaccine research programmes, the leading private players in India such as Fort Dodge, Hester Pharma, Indian Immunologicals Ltd, Intervet, Indovax, Ventri Biologicals, Zydus Cadila, should join hands / form partnership with the public ones (Institute of Animal Health & Veterinary Biologicals, Biological Products Div, Calcutta Institute of Veterinary Biologicals, Lucknow, Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), Biologicals Products Div, Izatnagar, Institute of Veterinary Preventive Medicine, Ranipet, Regional Veterinary Biological Unit, Jaipur, Punjab Veterinary Vaccine Institute, Ludhiana, Orissa Biological Products Institute, Bhubaneswar, Institute of Veterinary Biological Products, Pune, Institute of Animal Health & Veterinary Biologicals, Mhow, Institute of Animal Health & Veterinary Biologicals, Thiruvananthapuram, Institute of Animal Health & Veterinary Biologicals, Bangalore, Anti-rabies Vaccine Laboratory, Jammu, Institute of Animal Health & Biological Products, Srinagar, Haryana Veterinary Vaccine Institute, Hisar, Animal Vaccine Institute, Gandhinagar, Institute of Animal Health & Production, Patna, Institute of Veterinary Biologicals, Guwahati, Veterinary Biologicals & Research Institute, Hyderabad, Poultry Viral Vaccine Production Unit, Samalkot, etc.).
    It is high time Dept. of Animal Husbandry, Ministry of Agriculture, Govt. of India and State Animal Husbandry Departments should look into these matters on urgency basis in consultation with ICAR, NCAP, State Agriculture Universities etc. GAVLmed (http://www.galvmed.org/) supports this kind of partnerships.
    Extension Support to increase the Production Base
    Extension support helps in the capacity building of the farmers. Presently farmers lack awareness about the Sheep and Goat sector .They have no access to extension information related to general Sheep & Goat Husbandry practices, new production technologies, meat quality standards and related marketing intelligence issues. Existing extension agencies (mainly Animal Husbandry departments) are also not equipped to deliver extension services relevant for the sheep and goat sector.
    The major issues related to Extension Support are as follows:
  • Extension Services should be provided for the Development of Sheep and Goat Supply Chain
  • Extension Programmes should be initiated to create awareness regarding Employment opportunity through wool production, meat production and milk production
  • Farmers should be educated on improved breeding and genetic quality of animals, preventive vaccination & de-worming, feeding and biomass production, sustainable management of wastelands/CPRs, prevention of overgrazing and degradation of land etc.
  • Cooperatives or Farmers Organisations of Sheep / Goat breeders (producer company/ federation of SHGs etc.) should be promoted
  • There must be focus on Human Resource development of this sector through training for various activities required for efficient sheep and goat based businesses
  • Public awareness about the sector should be enhanced and its role in poverty alleviation must be addressed
  • Sheep / Goat Business management activities must be promoted to encourage entrepreneurship and employment generation.
  • Meat Hygiene should be mandatory part of all biology and zoology courses in high school level curriculum to ensure and address food safety and public health issues among citizens
  • Substantial attitudinal change is needed namely change in focus from large to small ruminants. This does imply a willingness as well as capacity to work with disadvantaged communities.
    By-Product Utilization is Vital for Sustainability
    By-product utilisation helps in combating the risk and can also increase the income of the farmers and entrepreneurs. Farmers and entrepreneurs are facing problem of by product utilisation.
    The major issues related to By-Product Utilization are as follows:
  • Provide inputs on regulation/machine shearing techniques to the industry
  • Extensive use of by products must be encouraged.
    When livestock sector is facing biosecurity threat, sheep and gaot sector can provide a reliable low risk and profitable option for diversification as well as new ventures.

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