By Imna Longchar
Dimapur (Nagaland), May 1 : Nagaland Chief Minister, Neiphiu Rio, on Saturday stressed on the importance of Mithun in the context of the Nagas and mentioned that the bovine species is a symbol, an identity and a unique tradition of the State and is a prestige for the Nagas since “time immemorial” for which the practice of the indigenous Mithun rearing should be preserved.
Inaugurating a bull mother farm of the Nagaland Livestock Development Board (NLDB) under the department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry, at Puliebadze, Jotsoma, Kohima, Rio briefed that Mithun rearing needs a wide area of forests and that the site at Jotsoma Community reserved forest, which being one of the “biggest and best forest” under Kohima district.
“The project model under centrally sponsored scheme (Rashtriya Gokul Mission) was proposed and selected after properly studying its topography, climate, vegetation and most importantly the natural habitat and the experiences in mithun farming practices,” Rio said.
Stating that all Mithuns belonging to individual farmers were procured by the NLDB and handed over to Jotsoma Village council for the project, Rio also added and further applauded the village council for accepting the government proposal to set up the project at Jotsoma, building a trust between the village and the government and urged the concerned to regulate and use it wisely and later adopt this model in other remote places with maximum forest area.
He later appealed the Veterinary department and the Village Council that the project should be a model for sustainable forest conservation by generating maximum income without detrimental effect to the forest ecology and urged to preserve our indigenous Mithun and further expand it.
Managing Director, NLDB, Dr. Neikeyielie Theunuo, in his address expressed that due to the population explosion, agricultural operation is expanding exponentially to meet the food demands for the growing population and as such, the forest land is diminishing in a very alarming manner and has become impracticable to conserve forest areas at the backyard without any revenue generation.
He said that Mithun Bull Mother Farm at Jotsoma, Kohima, had been formulated to be a model to sustain the ecological balance of the reserve forest, so that the agricultural activities and deforestation could be controlled while also mentioning that it play an important role in protection of forests and villages from wild fire apart from revenue generation.
“In the project, communitization has been implemented for the first time to generate revenue for the whole community with equal dividend of the revenue to its members, so that the community land usage does not go bias and with equal share of income,” Dr. Theunuo added.
He also went on to add that by implementing breeding guidelines, the desire genotype and phenotypic characters can be obtained for further propagation and development while the forest flora and fauna can be maintained well without any detrimental effect as was observed and cross studied intensively.
He later highlighted on the rearing type such as Intensive system, Free range, Semi intensive and mentioned that the project aims to conserve, develop and propagate indigenous Mithun in its native breeding tract and to develop and produce desired progenies of pure Naga strain through selective breeding for further propagation and multiplication of superior bulls to other breeding tract.
On infrastructural development, two Mithun sheds to accommodate a minimum of 100 elite Mithun cows have been constructed with attendant barrack to accommodate two caretakers .
The farm also consists of office cum training centre to conduct research and training on mithun.