A brainstorming session on “Enhancing livelihood and profitability of small and landless farmers through goat and pig farming” was organised at Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (GADVASU) here on Saturday.

The session was chaired by Ajay Vir Jakhar, Chairman, Punjab State Farmers Commission. Dr AS Nanda, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU, presided over the session.

As many as 40 pig and goat farmers representing small, medium and progressive categories participated in the event along with officials of the university and the Animal Husbandry Department.

“The Punjab Government will allocate 50 per cent of the agricultural Budget to the animal husbandry sector in the coming year. There is excellent scope in pig and goat farming as both the species can meet the meat-related demand of society for nutritional security,” said Jakhar.

“The number of pig farmers needs to be increased from 700 to 7,000 in the state through provision of good quality germplasm,” he added.

Jakhar proposed that one member of the Progressive Pig Farmers’ Association should educate, motivate and support 10 farmers of his area.

“The existing bank loan schemes should be redrafted in consultation with GADVASU so that the same may be submitted to NABARD for approval. The timely availability of fodder seeds —Jantar, Dhaincha and Guara — should be ensured to goat farmers,” he added.

“The OPD fees for treatment should be reduced appropriately for goat farmers. The Punjab State Farmers Commission will initiate a helpline number where farmers can lodge their complaints,” he said.

“The university will prepare four different models for viability of pig farming in the state. The university is competent enough to train new and existing farmers for providing skills in goat and pig farming,” said Dr Amarjit Singh Nanda, Vice-Chancellor, GADVASU.

He advised goat farmers to bring goat milk after pooling for pasteurising and packaging at the university milk plant so as to sell it at affordable price.

Dr Amit Sharma, Department of Livestock Production Management, discussed business opportunities in pig farming in the state while Dr Mandeep Singla talked on current scenario and future scope of expansion of goat farming in Punjab. The strategies and proposals for pig and goat expansion in the state were discussed in detail.

Dr Amarjit Singh, director, Animal Husbandry Department, Punjab, elaborated on different initiatives taken by the department for pig and goat farmers. Kamal Sodhi, director, Agriculture Skill Council of India, northen region, discussed initiatives taken by the Government of India through “Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana” for pig and goat farmers.

Farmers shared their problems, constraints and difficulties faced by them for promoting pig and goat farming. They sought more facilities from the Animal Husbandry Department. Farmers also raised the issue of animal insurance. They proposed that the insurance companies should insure their animals wherein loan was not sought from the bank.

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