12 Mar , Gangtok (PIB) : The ICAR-NOFRI, Tadong, the erstwhile ICAR Research complex for NEH Region, Sikkim Centre has been distributing Vanaraja day old chicks to the farmers of Sikkim under Poultry Seed Project since 2010. More than 2.5 lakh Vanaraja day old chicks have been distributed to the farmers of Sikkim under the project since its inception. During the current year, more than 85,000 numbers of Vanaraja day old chicks have been distributed to the farmers covering all the districts of Sikkim. To reduce early chick mortality and economic management of the Vanaraja birds for eggs and chicken meat production mass dissemination of the technology at village level is important. Keeping this in view, a three- day capacity building programme on “Livelihood Security through Vanaraja Backyard Poultry Farming” has been conducted at ICAR-NOFRI, Tadong, Gangtok targeting the unemployed educated youth from three districts viz. East, South and West districts of Sikkim during March 7-9, 2018.
Coordinating the Programme Dr. Rafiqul Islam, Principal Scientist (Animal Reproduction) and In-charge, Poultry Seed Project welcomed the Chairman of the meeting, Dr. R. K. Avasthe, Joint Director, ICAR-NOFRI; Chief Guest of the Programme, Dr. R. K. Tamang, Director (Animal Husbandry), AHLF&VS, Govt. of Sikkim; Scientists and officials from ICAR-NOFRI and KVK, East Sikkim, Ranipool and the participants of the of the training programme and explained aim of the training programme at the valedictory function of the Programme held on March 9, 2018 at ICAR-NOFRI, Sikkim. A total of 19 youth participated actively in the training programme. The training programme covered 12 lectures and two hands on training on housing, feeding, lighting, preventive and therapeutic management of Vanaraja birds both at intensive and backyard rearing systems including organic vegetable and crop production in integration with poultry farming.
Dr. Ravikant Avasthe, Joint Director, ICAR- NOFRI addressed the participants and encouraged them to undertake Vanaraja chicken farming as an enterprise for being self employed as the capital investment and labour requirement is very less. He highlighted the role of Vanaraja chicken in meeting the nutrition requirements of the rural family with the production of high quality eggs and meat with comparatively much higher production rate than the native chicken. The employed and students can also undertake backyard poultry farming as it requires about an hour a day which can be managed beyond working hours. Dr. Avasthe also highlighted the role of poultry manure in enriching soil with more micronutrient and other essential organic matter for increased production of crops and vegetables.
Dr. R. K. Tamang, Director (AH), Govt of Sikkim appreciated the efforts of ICAR-NOFRI for the significant contribution in developing the poultry sector in the state of Sikkim by supplying quality Vanaraja germplasm to the farmers which enormously helps in increasing the chicken meat and eggs production in the state. Dr. Tamang also reiterated to undertake Vanaraja chicken farming as an enterprise for self employment as well as economic development of the rural area. Dr. Tamang further reiterated that backyard poultry farming is very close to organic farming where most of the guidelines are followed. He invited the participants to utilize the know-how gained during the three days training program for increasing production through Vanaraja poultry farming in their respective areas.
Dr. Rafiqul Islam, Principal Scientist (Animal Reproduction) detailed and practically demonstrated the trainees about floor preparation in deep litter housing system, feeding and therapeutic management of Vanaraja chicks at various age groups. He educated the participants about restricted feeding schedule of Vanaraja layers for optimising egg production. He demonstrated vaccination of chicks and adult birds including administration techniques of various oral medicines to Vanaraja chicks and adult birds in feed and water. Dr. Islam also showed the methods for maintenance of hygienic and bio-security measures in the farms premises for protecting the birds from various diseases. Examples of many successful farmers of Sikkim were also presented before the participants to capacitate them for successful poultry farm.
Dr. Ashish Yadav, Senior Scientist (Horticulture) talked about the integration of backyard poultry with organic vegetable and fruit production. He also demonstrated the technologies to the farmers for year round organic vegetable production under low cost plastic tunnel.
Dr. Raghavendra Singh, Senior Scientist (Agronomy) deliberated upon organic crop production to support the Vanaraja backyard poultry farming through supply of organic feed ingredients. He also demonstrated the technologies about the organic conservation agriculture practices for major field crop production in Sikkim.
Dr. P. K. Pathak SMS (Animal Science), KVK, Ranipool briefed the participants about nutritional and housing management of the Vanaraja birds at backyard condition and feeding management of the birds for better growth and production with locally available feed ingredients in rural villages.
Dr. N. Johnson Singh, SMS (Plant Protection), KVK, Ranipool explained the participants about the disease and pest management in major vegetable and fruit crops with the use of organically permitted formulations.
Mrs. Pallabi Phukan SMS (Agricultural Extension), KVK, Ranipool talked about the procedure for formation of self help groups (SHGs) for availing various government schemes. Further, she explained the farmers regarding the role of SHGs for strengthening rural economy through Vanaraja poultry farming.
Later each participant was provided with 50 nos. of Vanaraja day old chicks, water trough and essential vitamin supplement along with handouts about the rearing practices. Dr. Priya Chettri, Dr. Padam Lal Luitel, Mr. K. B. Basnett, Mr. S. M. Kandwal, Mr. Puscal Sharma and Mr. Phurba Tamang rendered their active help and cooperation for the smooth running of the program. At the end Dr. Raghavendra Singh, Senior Scientist (Agronomy), ICAR-NOFRI proposed the vote of thanks to the dignitaries and participants.