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A ‘Kishan Gosti’ was organized jointly by ICAR-Central Island Agricultural Research Institute, Port Blair and Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services at Bharatpur village, Shaheed Dweep on 30th March, 2022 in a mesmerizing natural environment under a big mango tree, in a ‘Shantiniketan style’. The main theme of the programme was “Livelihood security through livestock based farming system”. Dr. Subhash B Palve, Senior Veterinary Officer, Shaheed Dweep, Dr. P. A. Bala, Senior Scientist, ICAR-CIARI and Dr. A. K. De, Scientist, ICAR-CIARI were the resource persons for the programme. A total of 35 farmers, mostly small and marginal, from different parts of the island participated in the discussion forum. Smt. Pinki Das, the newly elected Pradhan, Gram panchayat, Shaheed Dweep graced the occasion and encouraged the participants to draw maximum advantage from the programme. Farmers raised different issues and problems faced related to livestock farming. During the discussion, non-availability of quality livestock germplasm, poor conception rate of cows after artificial insemination (AI), high cost of concentrate feeds, high mortality rate of indigenous desi poultry birds, marketing issues of the animal produce and nuisance caused by the stray dogs emerged as the major impediments in growth of livestock sector of the serene island. Dr. Palvewith his huge experience in livestock sector addressed those issues raised by the farmers and requested Pradhan, Gram panchayat to make a better legal connectivity with Port Blair in terms of transportation of livestock, feed, medicine etc. Dr. Bala explained the scientific basis of poor conception rate after AI and cast light on the nutritional management of livestock with locally available resources which is considered as the key to successful livestock farming. He also requested the farmers to form a ‘co-operative society’ so that they can fetch better profit from their livestock produce. Dr. De advised the farmers to adopt nature-based integrated farming system to boost productivity and secure livelihood security. Smt. Pinki Das, Pradhan, Grampanchayat, Shaheed Dweep thanked everyone for the lively discussion and assured all the farmers that necessary arrangements would be made for better connectivity with Port Blair.

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