The International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) has released a set of training manuals on best practices for improving the quality and safety of informal dairy and pork value chains in Assam, India.
The manuals were unveiled at the 2021 Livestock and Poultry Show in Guwahati, Assam, India, 8–10 February 2021.
Ram Pratim Deka, a senior scientist at ILRI, presented the set of seven manuals to Sarbananda Sonowal, the chief minister of Assam and the political head of the state, who launched them at the event. The seven manuals are:
- Training manual for milk sweet makers
- Training manual for milk cottage processors
- Training manual for pork retailers
- Lab protocol for conducting pork safety test
- Lab protocol for conducting milk safety test
- Handbook for reproductive health and mastitis management for farmers (in Assamese)
- Protocol for reproductive health and mastitis management for field veterinarians
These documents were developed by ILRI under the World Bank-funded Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART) under which ILRI is serving as a knowledge partner to the Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Department (AHVD), Government of Assam. The project’s goal is to improve the quality and safety of livestock products in the informal sector.
The seven training manuals were developed after training needs assessments of the dairy and pork value chain actors in the state. The manuals are written in simple and clear language and contain photographs and illustrations to make them understandable to targeted livestock farmers and value chain actors, which include value chain actors and livestock farmers in the state and elsewhere.
The laboratory test protocols explain the stepwise test procedure of conducting milk and pork safety tests as per the Food Safety and Standard Authority of India. The reproductive health and mastitis management protocol explains the stepwise approach for addressing reproductive health of dairy animals while the handbook on the same subject in the local Assamese language explains the basic precautions and practices that the farmers should follow to reduce reproductive health and mastitis problems in dairy animals.
Chief minister Sonowal said that the documents will help livestock farmers increase the productivity of their animals and strengthen the value chains of livestock products. Under the ILRI-led APART project, these materials will be printed and distributed to livestock farmers and other stakeholders who will attend ILRI-led training sessions in the program.
The Livestock and Poultry Show 2021 was organised by the AHVD, the Assam Livestock and Poultry Corporation Limited (ALPCO) and the Government of Assam. It was attended by people from state agencies, non-government agencies, private sector, research and academia, and farmers.
(The post was written by Kennady Vijayalakshmy, research and communications officer with ILRI in South Asia, with additional editing by Paul Karaimu, communications officer, ILRI).
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