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‘Indigenous bovine breeds should be conserved’
On the second day of the Odisha Environment Congress 2013, Prof SK Das of Animal Breeding and Genetics presented a research paper titled, ‘Indigenous Domestic livestock biodiversity of Odisha and Strategy.’ “Better breeds require better environment. Whereas moderate breeds can sustain in a poor and local environment. It is sustainable and suitable for farming community. So indigenous bovine breeds should be conserved,” observed Prof SK Das.

“We need to design the science based on socio-economic profiles of the stakeholders,” he added while advocating the indigenous breeds cattle and buffaloes and stressed on stopping crossbreeding.

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Prof Das, who is responsible for the registration of four newly breeds 31, 32, 33 and 34 in Food and Agriculture Organisation’s (Govt of India) list of cattle, said that these breeds took thousands of years of natural process to sustain, which are friendly to farmers in the environment.

“These four indigenous breeds like Binjharpuri, Khariar, Ghumsuri and Motu are different and unique from other varieties. These varieties are well in low input system, resistant and suitable to local climatic condition having individual variability, though low milk breeder,” said Prof Das while adding “it can be explored through planned breeding programmes.”

Besides cattle, there are two indigenous varieties of buffaloes such as Chilika and Kalahandi listed as No. 11 and 13 in the FAO list, which are also unique. “Chilika variety is the only one that thrives in saline weeds and its curd can be preserved in room conditions for five days,” informed Prof Das adding “Kalahandi variety is the best milk breeder.”

Declaration of Odisha Environment Congress – 2013

1.      Impact of environment on agriculture and vice versa should be given importance in policy formulation.

2.      There should be appropriate balance between economic development and environment to fulfill minimum need and improve the quality of life of people of the state.

3.      In order to ensure food security, Odisha should adhere to “Evergreen green revolution” adopting organic farming and indigenous knowledge.

4.      Since considerable portion of the state’s population comprise of youth, efforts should be made to make agriculture a profitable venture to attract more and more unemployed youth to take this as a profession.

5.      Efforts should be there to promote climate smart agriculture practices for ensuring food security through sustainable agriculture and enhanced livelihood while adopting climate change and conserving bio-diversity, natural resources, cultural resources, culinary resources and environmental services.

6.      There is a need for developing certain pilot models on group approach of locally adopted and sustainable agriculture (GALASA) taking into consideration indigenous technology and knowledge (ITK) local genetic resources, organic manures, micro and macro climatic conditions and also environment.

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