A one-day Stakeholders Workshop on "Semi intensive Mithun Farming as Alternative Source of Livelihood" was organized at Aizawl, Mizoram on 2 Sep 2017, jointly by ICAR - NRC on Mithun, Medziphema Nagaland and A.H & Vety Dept. Govt. of Mizoram, The Chief Guest of Workshop, Chief Minister of Mizoram, Sri Lalthanhawla, unveiled a statue of mithun. Dr Trilochan Mohapatra Secretary (DARE) & Director General (ICAR), was the Guest of Honour. Shri T. Sangkunga, local MLA also graced the occasion.
The Chief Guest said that mithun or 'sial' occupies a special status in Mizo culture and to own a mithun is a sign of prosperity as the animal plays an important role in various festivities, rituals, marriages and also to settle disputes among the locals. It is a potential source of alternative livelihood wherein its other produces like milk and hide in addition to meat need to be explored.
Dr Mohapatra, Secretary (DARE) and DG (ICAR), assured full commitment of ICAR towards the development of the agricultural sector as a whole in the North eastern states through financial and technical backstopping. Further, he mentioned that ICAR-NRC on Mithun will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with the state and also open two demonstration units to support and provide requisite scientific hand-holdings for promoting semi-intensive mithun rearing in the state.
The Secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry, Govt. of Mizoram, informed that realizing the importance of mithun, the state has launched Mithun Production and Development Project under NEDP wherein the A.H. & Vety Dept intends to establish one Intensive mithun farm and five semi intensive mithun ranches at Thenzawl.
Dr Abhijit Mitra, Director, ICAR-NRC on Mithun, Nagaland, emphasised that besides meat, mithun can also be explored as a source of milk, hide (leather) and draught purposes in various agricultural practices. He further emphasized the need for a bankable scheme for mithun farming and promoting it as a "nature's gardener".
Presentations were on mithun feeding, housing, breeding, management and value addition of mithun milk, meat and hide. Mithun keepers from various districts of Mizoram participated and interacted during the technical session of the workshop.
(Source: ICAR-Animal Science Division)