Animal husbandry helping to curb rural poverty

Himalayan News Service

Tanahun, April 29:

A Community Forest and Grazing Land Development Project and Animal Husbandry Programme run for the last eight years in Tanahun district’s Byas municipality and 12 VDCs have helped curb poverty in the region. The programme, jointly run by the Tanahun district agriculture development bank, district veterinary office and district forest office from 1996-97, has been implemented in Byas municipality, Duleganda, Dhorfirdi, Ghansikuwa, Mirlung, Keshavtar, Barbhanjyang, Bhimad, Tanahunsur, Bhanumati, Anbukhaireni, Baidi and Pokharibhanjyang VDCs. Veterinary technician Rebat Raj Shah of the district veterinary office says, the programme has been effective in infusing greenery to the barren land, for augmentation animal husbandry, for bringing a balanced approach to the environment, and bringing improvement to farmers’ financial status.

According to him, under the programme grass improvement, animal husbandry and goat exchange programmes have been held. 237 groups and 14 sub-groups are affiliated to five cooperatives and is benefiting 289 families. Farmers owning less than 10 ropanis of land (16 annas = 1 ropani, 1 anna = 342.25 sq ft) and earning less than Rs 2,500 are accepted as members. Since the launching of the programmes, 383 goats have been distributed and 1,024 lambs have been born to them. Out of which, 164 have died, 148 have been sold and 712 have been retained.

During this period, farmers earned a sum of Rs 3,70,000 as income from business dealings. Various types of grass plantations have covered 296 hectares of land and produced 2,321 metric tonnes of grass, which was enough for an additional 974 cattle to be fed, veterinary doctor Mahendra Pratap shah, informed. A district coordination committee, at the head of district forest office, has been formed consisting of concerned heads of departments, while it is being coordinated by heads of the small farmers project, veterinary centre/sub centre, and ranger and farmers of the community forest group. President of the Laligurans multipurpose cooperatives, Min Bahadur Thapa, says goat exchange programmes have helped raise standard of life of the farmers. Since the launching of the programme, Rs 74,96,000 has been disbursed till now, out of which Rs 56,41,000 has already been spent.