On 20 June 2017, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) and the Fisheries and Animal Resources Development Department (HARD) of the Government of Odisha hosted a launching workshop for a project on ‘Feed and Fodder Production in Different Agro-climatic Zones and its Utilization for Livestock of Odisha’ in Bhubaneswar, the capital of the state.
The project is a three-year joint effort by both parties that is aimed at improving livestock productivity through balanced feeding in the state. More than 160 farmers from all the districts in Odisha shared their experiences in fodder cultivation at the workshop.
Damodar Rout, minister of HARD, Shri Vishal Cagan, commissioner-cum-secretary, HARD; Jimmy Smith, ILRI general director; and Habibar Rahman, regional representative of ILRI in South Asia, attended the event.
Smith emphasized the importance of green fodder production and balanced feeding for the livestock, which he said would help in improving productivity and preventing many livestock diseases in the state.
Rahman welcomed the chief guest and other dignitaries and highlighted the importance of livestock in India noting that the livestock sector contributes about 25% of the country’s agricultural GDP. He said inadequate and poor quality feed and fodder are major limitations in livestock production there.
Leaders from both organizations stressed the pivotal role of livestock in food and nutritional security in the face of global climate change. They expressed hope that the new initiative would bridge the gap between the need for green fodder and its availability in Odisha and that good management of feeding would help resolve livestock-related problems so that more farmers and consumers can benefits from dairy farming.