The formal extension institutions are unable to meet information and skill requirements of a vast segment of dairy and livestock farmers. Thus, there is an urgent need to think of alternate systems of information delivery to meet informal education needs of this target clientele, argue Mahesh Chander and Devesh Thakur.
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We are thankful for the compliments & suggestions from the very experienced & eminent professionals like Dr Mruthyunjaya & Dr S V N Rao. The observation of Dr S V N Rao that we should first focus on establishing organized market for all the livestock and livestock products which serve as a strong motivator to improve production of livestock is a very valid suggestion indeed. For the want of organized market, livestock production is being taken just as a way of life,casually and adjunct to crop farming not an independent business opportunity. It is also true that the farmers find it hard to link information with production of their livestock. These comments are invaluable for us to improve our understanding of the production systems in relation to the extension services.
Very interesting and important for strengthening an extension practices one step ahead.
The blog on informal education/information needs of livestock sector is a good review of current status and future directions to strengthen the sector.It is a comprehensive review by experienced researchers and reads well
I congratulate the authors for a very good coverage on information needs of the livestock farmers with supporting data. The following are my quick observations. 1. Most of the livestock farmers do not value the information as they fail to see the link between information and production of their livestock. Livestock farmers seek animal health and to some extent animal breeding related information because of their direct impact on milk production. This situation will continue as long as the dairy farmers do not consider dairy farming as an enterprise. 2. In case of small ruminants, back yard poultry and piggery farming the situation is still worse which is attributed to the totally unorganised market for these livestock and their products. Most of the backyard poultry farmers are aware of the importance of Ranikhet disease but they do not get their birds vaccinated against it for a variety of reasons including non availability of vaccine and vaccination service. Unless the delivery of information matches with delivery of service as in the case of contract poultry farming the demand for the information on livestock management may not improve. 3. Most of our technologies recommended in case of small ruminants aim at increasing the body weight but unfortunately the live animals are not sold on actual live weight of the animals. Hence, the small ruminant owners neither demand information nor service. 4. We should focus first on establishing organised market for all the livestock and livestock products which serve as a strong motivator to improve production of livestock.