KOCHI: In the changing environment, mixed-crop livestock farming, productivity and animal welfare are the thrust areas of sustainable farming across the world, said experts from partner universities of the Global Innovation Initiative.
They were speaking at a two-day international workshop on ‘Sustainable Livestock Systems’, organised by the Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, as part of the Global Innovation Initiative, here the other day.
KVASU Vice-chancellor B Ashok, who inaugurated the workshop, said the immediate challenge was to improve production and productivity. “By 2050, production of food-grains and animal protein sources is required to increase 40 per cent, in tune with the population growth,” he said.
Speaking on the occasion, Kerala University for Fisheries and Oceanographic Studies (KUFOS) Vice-chancellor Dr Madhusoodana Kurup suggested that integrated farming systems should be popularised as part of the sustainable farming initiatives.
Michel Lee of the University of Bristol, UK, in his speech suggested that India had a significant potential for subsistence farming as more than 90 per cent of the country’s production is under ‘small holder’ systems. Animal welfare; soil fertility; quality of fodder; pasture management and One Health are the major pillars of sustainable development.
Delivering the presidential address, KVASU registrar Dr Joseph Mathew suggested validation of the farming systems in tune with the nutritional requirements. Director of Entrepreneurship Dr T P Sethumadhavan in his introductory speech opined that in order to meet the food security and nutritional security needs of the growing population, commodity-based self-help groups and farmer clusters need to be promoted in the country.
On the occasion, KVASU publications highlighting activities in the areas of Entrepreneurship, One Health and Compendium were released. The Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University is partnering with the University of Bristol (UK, UoB), University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA, UWM), Kansas State University (USA, KSU) and Zhejiang University (China, ZU).
The delegates visited the Livestock Research Station at Thiruvazhamkunnu in Palakkad, which has been identified as the ‘Future Farm for Sustainable Development’. Dr Kumar Venkat Narayanan of the University of Connecticut presented a paper on One Health and Emerging Zoonoses Like Salmonellosis and Campylobacter.
Around 60 delegates participated. Sessions were held on ‘Sustainable Farming Systems, Pasture Management, Fodder Management Practices, Precision Nutrition Farming, Mitigation of Greenhouse Gases, Animal Adaptation, Knowledge Dissemination and One Health’.