On 19 December 2014, a policy dialogue on ‘mainstreaming models for dairy-based livelihood improvement in Uttrakhand’ was organised by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and Himmotthan Society, the nodal agency of the Sir Ratan Tata Trust & the Navajbai Ratan Tata Trust.
The policy dialogue was honoured by the presence of Dr Ranvir Singh IAS, the Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Government of Uttarakhand. It was attended by various department officials, policymakers, international and non-governmental organisations, private-sector bodies, donors and development agencies.
The following presentations were made by scientists from ILRI and Himmotthan:
- Model on delivery of breeding and primary health services in the hills (presented by Dr C T Chacko, ILRI consultant);
- Dual-purpose wheat to address green fodder deficit in acute scarcity periods (presented by V Padmakumar, ILRI);
- Innovation platform for institutional strengthening and productivity enhancement (presented by Thanammal Ravichandran, ILRI);
- Fodder production in common land (presented by Dr Yashpal Bisht, Himmotthan);
- Community managed dairy in the hills (presented by Dr Rajendra Koshyari, Himmotthan).
ILRI in its research found that the above five models impacted the target communities significantly and therefore efforts are needed to scale them up in more villages in the state. As dairy is a prime force in Uttarakhand’s economy, the sector still requires more attention in the policy framework. The aim of the policy dialogue was to mainstream the tested models using public resources so that the benefits reach the ‘last mile’ of development.
After listening to presentation of all five models of dairy development appropriate in the hills, Dr Ranvir Singh suggested that the various models of dairy development field tested by ILRI and Himmotthan appear to be successful in the hills and therefore the State is interested to mainstream them through its apparatus.
To help make this happen, he formed a ‘Policy Working Group’ to discuss various operational aspects of scaling up and recommend options that are practical and implementable for the consideration of the government. Members of the working group are:
• Kamal Singh, CEO, Uttarakhand Livestock Development Board (Chairperson)
• V Padmakumar, Senior Scientist, ILRI
• Avinash Anand, Uttarakhand Sheep and Wool Development Board
• Negi, Department of Animal Husbandry
• Yashpal Bisht, NRM Coordinator, Himmotthan Society
The policy working group members agreed to have their first meeting in mid-January 2015.
This article was written by Peter Ballantyne, ILRI’s Head of Communications and Knowledge Management.