Commendable state-level and district-level livestock rearers were awarded as a token of encouragement in the ‘Shreshth Pashupalak Puraskar’ award distribution ceremony for 2023 in Gandhinagar.
The dignitaries, including Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel, Union Minister of Animal Husbandry Parshottam Rupala, and Gujarat’s Minister of Animal Husbandry Raghavji Patel took part in the virtual launch of 25 mobile veterinary units (dedicated to livestock treatment) acknowledged by the Government of India. Furthermore, CM Patel digitally inaugurated 20 recently constructed sub-centres under the Ghanisht Pashu Sudhar Yojana.
Emphasising the importance of environmental conservation and livestock development within India’s developmental ethos, the CM underscored the significance of integrating natural and livestock resources into the economic sector. He has been actively advocating organic farming practices and offering robust support to animal husbandry, aligning the trajectory of progress with the principles of nature.
The CM highlighted the significance of both agriculture and animal husbandry as interdependent occupations crucial for rural economic development. PM Modi has supported chemical-free sustainable agriculture through the back to basics approach, inspiring livestock farming centered around cows. This cow-centric agricultural approach is rejuvenating the livestock sector with renewed energy.
Patel reiterated that inspired by the Prime Minister, Gujarat has accorded significant importance to natural farming. The rampant use of chemical fertilizers in the soil has resulted in severe health issues affecting people of all ages today. Therefore, the adoption of natural farming practices is imperative.
Nationally, several initiatives, including the animal health fair, animal health card, soil health card, and Khel Mahakumbh, have been implemented under the Prime Minister’s direction.
Patel noted that under the Rashtriya Gokul Mission, three livestock inspectors in Gujarat were honoured with the ‘Best A.I. Technician’ award. Gujarat was acknowledged as the ‘Best Performing State’ in animal husbandry under the Mission, receiving both the ‘Best Animal Husbandry State’ award nationally and the ‘Best State in Animal Husbandry Infrastructure’ award. Furthermore, five institutes from Gujarat were recognised with the ‘Rashtriya Kamdhenu Puraskar’, and four cattle rearers were presented the ‘Rashtriya Gopal Ratna Puraskar’.
“These achievements demonstrate our commendable performance in the field of animal husbandry,” he said.
Rupala congratulated CM Patel for orchestrating this programme to promote animal husbandry. He highlighted that Gujarat was the pioneer in the nation to introduce a mobile veterinary unit tailored for animal treatment. The Government of India has since adopted this Gujarat model.
Rupala said PM Modi’s decision to establish animal husbandry as an independent ministry has been pivotal for the development and enhancement of animal husbandry activities. Citing the International Monitoring Fund report, he mentioned that India’s average growth is twice the world average, with the global rate at 3.5 percent and India’s at 6.5 percent.
“PM Modi has taken the initiative to provide Kisan credit cards not only to farmers but also to those involved in animal husbandry. In a noteworthy move, the Gujarat government covers 4% of the interest on behalf of animal husbandry, ensuring they can access credit at zero percent interest. This pioneering step by the Gujarat government is the first of its kind in the country, demonstrating their commitment and sensitivity towards the well-being of pastoralists,” he said.
Extending congratulations to the recipients of the Shreshth Pashupalak Puraskar at the state, district, and taluka levels, Minister for Animal Husbandry Raghavji Patel said Gujarat’s animal husbandry profession, coupled with the dedicated efforts of herders, has significantly contributed to the growth of the dairy industry and enhanced rural livelihoods.
Minister Patel said, “The primary objectives of our government revolve around Seva, Sushasan Ane Garib Kalyan (Service, administration, and the well-being of the underprivileged). During his tenure as the CM, Modi demonstrated concern for various issues, including animal treatment, income in animal husbandry, and the improvement of animal breeding. He implemented diverse schemes to propel the prosperity of animal husbandry. CM Patel is effectively continuing the trajectory initiated by the PM for the comprehensive development of pastoralists.”
He further said the state government had prioritised the comprehensive vaccination of animals to curb diseases.
“Our government is dedicated to ensuring the vaccination of 100 percent cattle against Kharva Movasa and other ailments by the year 2025. As part of the statewide Pashu Arogya Mela Abhiyan initiated by the PM in 2002-03, free veterinary treatment is made available through over 4,500 animal health fairs annually,” he added.
The minister highlighted that the state government has implemented the “10 Gam Dith Ek Pashu Davakhana Yojana,” operating 460 mobile animal clinics that reach over 5,300 villages. This initiative aims to provide doorstep animal treatment services, benefiting animal breeders.