The Meghalaya government has touted its success in increasing the size of the livestock industry in the state over the past five years.
With the increase in demand for meat, eggs and dairy products in India, brought about by a more affluent population, Meghalaya is trying to meet its own demands while also creating employment opportunities for its people by promoting the livestock industry, a government press release stated today.
“Due to the topography, climate, and socioeconomic circumstances of Meghalaya, only about 10 percent of the state’s total land can be used for agricultural purposes,” the release said. “A popular source of secondary income the villagers rely on is raising livestock. The application of modern technologies has raised the potential for commercial livestock and poultry farming as a full-time occupation for a decent living. Meghalaya’s annual growth rates for milk, eggs, and meat over the last three years have been 2.76 per cent, 1.47 percent, and 2.95 per cent, respectively.”
As far as cattle goes, raising milch cows is a “relatively new concept” in Meghalaya but the state has seen “high growth” in consumption, which has led to commercial success for farmers. “Meghalaya has some of the best dairy, draught, and dual-purpose cattle breeds. Many of these breeds contain advantageous genes for rapid growth, profusion, and adaptability,” the release added.
Under the Meghalaya Milk Mission, 66 dairy cooperative societies, 588 beneficiaries with 1,066 cattle have been provided Rs 25.4 crore of financial support.
The state’s piggery mission, dubbed the biggest in the country, has seen 253 cooperatives given financial support worth Rs 44.85 crore. It aims to boost the incomes of over 25,000 households.
Fish farming has been something touted even before the term of the present government and yet the state still has to import most of its fish to meet local demand.
According to the release, the Meghalaya State Aquaculture Mission (MSAM) has led to the production of 16,123 tonnes of fish in 2020-21, which is a 30 percent increase on the 2016-17 figure, and some 7,000 fish farmers have benefited from MSAM.
Improved poultry rearing practices have now seen a huge growth in egg production capacity, thanks in part to better breeds. “Efforts are also being made to commercialize the poultry industry by providing poultry farmers with convenient marketing facilities,” the release said.