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Livestock & Fodder


Livestock is an integral component of the agriculture sector in the mountain regions of Uttarakhand. Livestock provides draught power, fertilizer, nutrition and income for rural households. More than 70% households in the state are engaged in animal husbandry. However, due to acute seasonal shortages of nutritious fodder, the economic benefits from livestock as an occupation remain negligible. Livestock rearing techniques are outdated, fodder is confined to seasonal local grasses and foliage, and the lack of basic animal health infrastructure and marketing facilities limits further growth of the sector.

The Integrated Fodder- Livestock Development Project Phase II (IFLDP)

Himmotthan initiated a pilot 'Integrated Fodder Livestock Development Project (IFLDP)' in 2008. The aim was to address the issues related to feed, breed, institutions and markets in the livestock value chain. Based on experiences of Phase-I and successful interventions, Phase-II of the project was initiated for a 3 year period (2011 to 2014). In this phase 125 new villages, adjoining older, Phase-I villages were selected in consultation with Federations, community representatives, government officials and partner organizations.

So, in addition to the 100 villages of Phase-I, 125 villages were selected in Phase-II and project interventions were initiated to cover around 15,000 families across 14 clusters of six districts. The focus of Phase-II is the scaling up of specific activities to attain volume and scale in production, and developing self-reliant cooperatives for long term sustainability of enterprises and institutions.

The project focuses on -

The project emphasises the cultivation of fodder resources; community mobilization and strengthening of institutions; promotion of better feeding practices; promotion of livestock health, breed improvement and up-scaling; strengthening of livestock based micro-enterprises, and streamlining of the micro-dairies.

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Dehradun :

'Women Dairy Federations Vehicle Flag-off Ceremony' was organised tin November 2011 congratulate and compliment women federations on their success in their dairy businesses and in their attempts to purchase vehicles for the federations. The ceremony was graced by over 200 women federation members, partners NGOs, lead government officials. TATA group officials, NABARD and other bank officials, etc. The Chief Secretary, Government of Uttarakhand, Mr. Subhash Kumar chaired the ceremony while Ms. S. Bharucha, Trustee, SRTT graced the event as Chief Guest.


A 15 days training on First Aid was organized for the para-vets, who, for the first time, were issued First Aid Certificates by the Uttarakhand Government.


Umang dairy federation recieving the 'Best Dairy Enterprise' promotion award from Ms. Shirin Bharucha, Trustee, SRTT. (Partner-MVDA)

Enhancing livelihoods through Livestock Knowledge Systems (ELKS)

A partnership between the Sir Ratan Tata Trust and its Allied Trusts and the International Livestock Research Institute to reduce poverty in rural India

Livestock forms the backbone of the traditional agro-ecosystem practiced in the central Himalayan regions, and in the state of Uttarakhand in Northern India. However, livestock rearing practices are significantly inhibited by an acute fodder shortage, poor livestock management practices, lack of improved breeds, poor livestock health and ineffective marketing facilities.

About ELKS
Given this reality, the Himmotthan Society initiated a project called "Integrated Fodder-Livestock Development Project (IFLDP)" which was funded by the Sir Ratan Tata Trust. This project was technically backstopped by the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) through a "research for development" project named "Enhancing livelihoods through livestock knowledge systems (ELKS)" This is an ambitious initiative, started in 2009, to put the accumulated knowledge of advanced international livestock research directly to use by disadvantaged livestock rearing communities in rural India. It supported Himmotthan Society (and other Trusts" initiatives) in their endeavor to reduce poverty through application of technical, social and institutional research knowledge of livestock-based livelihoods.

Focus areas

  • Research on dual purpose wheat and barley crops that can produce green fodder in scarcity periods

  • Develop a paravet model that can provide livestock service to farmers in remote locations

  • Develop a tool to assess feed situation and systematically prioritize feed technologies to address nutritional gap in animals and

  • Improve genetic performance of local goats through selective breeding.

Key features of the project

  • Early and tight engagement with NGO partners, who had significant experience in the areas, had identified problems and were open-minded about the contribution that research could make, had led to some very well-focused researchable issues that the project was able to tackle effectively with full commitment from its development partners. As it was need based research, the project could make an impact in addressing real issues faced by smallholder farmers including women farmers at the ground. This programme is a classical example of Research for Development and Research into Use, where the development partners directly used the research outputs as and when they were available.

  • A number of specific solutions were identified by predominantly research (e.g. trial on dual purpose cereals for food-feed production) and development activities (e.g. animal health services targeted at farmers in remote locations; supply of dual purpose crop seeds). The cross fertilisation of research and development activities enabled to come up with integrated solutions to specific problems which has been one of the strength of this project. The wider scalability of these solutions has to be encouraged. It will require active participation of multiple actors and large resources. Opportunities for scaling might be through partnership with public sector service providers.

  • Inclusive approach and good awareness of institutional environment shows promise for supporting wider scaling, for example- study on nutritional gap and setting up of mini-feed unit. Right from planning, all stakeholders especially those who are mandated by the state for the specific job were taken on board and involved throughout the journey. Dialogues with policy makers were initiated for actionable outcomes. Looking at who will be around in ten years time to ensure continuity is a sound attitude as they are the actors, particularly government agencies, who will make things sustainable. If it is only the farmers then solutions have to take this into account. Capacity requirements for the longer term are different for ensuring long term adaptation to changing circumstances.

  • Evidence based policy facilitation added value to the Research for Development work. This includes goat value chain study and partnership with ICAR institute for goat research, paravet model with Uttarakhand Livestock Development Board. This resulted in public-private collaboration and field level synergy. Policy impact has wider implications on the ground.

  • ELKS used a scientific and evidence-based approach, employed consultations and diagnostic/scoping studies, and drawn on the rich livestock research experience in India and other regions to identify appropriate pro-poor livestock intervention strategies.


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