(The post was written by Kennady Vijayalakshmy, research and communications officer with ILRI in South Asia, with additional editing by Chi Nguyen and Paul Karaimu, communications officer, ILRI).
In late August this year, Habibar Rahman, the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) regional representative for South Asia met Shri Parshottam Rupala Ji, minister of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying (MoFAH&D) in India, to submit a letter to impress upon the G-20 countries for the support of animal health and welfare globally.
The 26 August 2021 meeting at MoFAH&D was also attended by Jyothikumar S Dharmadheeran, chief executive officer, Brooke, a partner of the Action for Animal Health (A4AH) Coalition; Praveen Malik, animal husbandry commissioner, Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying; and Shri Rakesh Kumar Mishra, personal secretary of the minister of MoFAH&D.
Rahman presented ILRI’s work in South Asia including the institutes collaborative project with national and international partners such as the World Bank, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR). He highlighted ILRI’s contribution to the national livestock master plan, climate change mitigation, animal disease economics, feed and fodder development, backyard poultry genomics, addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and implementing One Health initiatives in the country and the region.
Among the highlights of Rahman’s presentation was ILRI support for the livestock master plan (LMP) development process for Bihar and Odisha states. He also spoke about the institutes experience in developing similar livestock sector development plans for other countries including Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda and Tanzania.
The ICAR–ILRI collaborative projects were also discussed. The ICAR’s National Institute of Veterinary Epidemiology and Disease Informatics (NIVEDI) and Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI) and ILRI are working together on animal disease economics research, and feed and fodder development including techniques to resolve the issue of straw burning in northern India states.
Dharmadheeran spoke about Brooke’s activities in India. He also informed the minister about the Action for Animal Health (A4AH) Coalition in which ILRI and Brooke have collaborated in One Health initiatives.
In a follow up meeting at his residence on 27 August, the minister appreciated the LMP model and the feed and fodder project saying they would help in reducing the stubble burning in the in Haryana and Punjab. He urged ILRI and Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying to implement the Gir cattle development project in the Amreli Region of Gujarat. In this regard, ILRI has submitted the concept note on Gir cattle development to the minister and animal husbandry commissioner.