Learning Route For Developing A Vibrant Goat Sector In India
Following the conference on ‘Building A Vibrant Goat Sector in India: Vision 2030’, we organized the country’s first Learning Route in April 2018 which covered the latest developments in the goat sector in India. This included innovations in health service delivery, commercial farming, modern processing and developing institutions and marketing linkages. The key selected participants were national and international experts from IFAD HQ and country office along with the government officials of the Animal Husbandry Departments from the Ministry of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare, from the Government of Uttar Pradesh, Government of Bihar, Government of Rajasthan, Government of Andhra Pradesh, Government of Maharashtra, Government of Tamil Nadu and Government of Odisha. Top Researchers from EMBRAPA, the leading research institute in Brazil, also attended the Learning Route.
A Learning Route is a journey, strategically planned as a tool for knowledge sharing and capacity building for the travelers as well as the hosts. A Learning Route develops the participants’ ability to identify the potentially useful and feasible innovations, techniques and ideas which they can adapt and apply in their own spheres of work. A group of participants from different professions and backgrounds but within a common sector or sphere come together on a journey to visit people and places who have excelled in the sector, have promising ideas and set a benchmark for others embarking in the same direction.
Following case studies were selected to represent all the activities of the goat value chain from production to processing and marketing aspects in the Learning Route organized by Creative Agri Solutions.
- Case Study 1: Sirohi Bakri Palan Mahila Producer Company (Goat Rearers Women Farmer Producer Company) Jhiri village, Alwar, Rajasthan
- Case Study 2: National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal, Haryana
- Case Study 3: National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Sonipat, Haryana
- Case study 4: AOV Agro Foods Pvt. Ltd., Tapkan, Mewat, Haryana
- Case Study 5: Sanctuary Milk and Products Private Limited, Pali, Faridabad, Haryana
Exposure to these locations provided insights to initiate specific activities in the participating States, focused on building a sustainable goat sector. The emphasis was therefore largely on approaches to support goat-based livelihoods while creating a conducive environment for private sector investments in goat-based enterprises at all levels including production, providing input services, processing, and retailing. At the end of the Learning Route the participants were asked to prepare an action plan to initiate activities to develop the goat sector in their respective states. Regular follow-ups are planned to ensure the implementation of the findings in the respective states.
In a Learning Route as such, the participants as well as the hosts have opportunities at each stage to understand each other’s experiences, challenges and potential contributions in developing the sector in focus. A lot is happening across the country in terms of development of ideas, enterprises, political environment and entrepreneurial support. What an initiative like a Learning Route does is bring together similar cards, shuffled in a large deck. It opens up a whole new world of opportunities for cross learning and developing linkages which would benefit all. Efforts towards coordination among different stakeholders involved becomes a possibility which is usually difficult to accomplish. Communication is a simple and yet the most critical aspect which ensures that development of such a nature does not break down due to coordination failure. A Learning Route facilitates this communication and initiates a process of trust building amongst those involved to give rise to a new virtuous cycle of development.
It can be an extremely effective tool to cover and address challenges like climate change, use of common properties, migration, rural development, market linkages, etc. These Learning Routes can be within the country, cross country and cross continents for cross learning across space without any barriers. The team at Creative Agri Solutions seeks to use this as an innovative tool for capacity development and knowledge sharing and is open to collaborate for organizing Learning Routes in the agriculture and livestock sectors.
The Approach Paper for the conference ‘Building A Vibrant Goat Sector in India: Vision 2030’ can be accessed from IFAD site here