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Centre to conserve ’Mithun’ in NE

JHARNAPANI(NAGALAND): Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare, Radha Mohan Singh, while addressing scientists at National Research Centre on Mithun at Jharnapani on Saturday, said that Government would give all possible help for conservation of mithun, the only animal that is recognized as the State Animal of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.

National Research Centre on mithun is the only Institute in the world dedicated purely to the research on conservation and improvement of this precious animal species.

The Minister said that this Institute is to work towards technology development for scientific rearing of mithuns that has not only helped in the conservation of the biodiversity and the rich cultural heritage of the region, but also contributed to the economic development and ecological stability of the NE states.

He further stated that the tribal community in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur is closely involved in rearing of this bovine species, called `mithun’. Even though, the mithun may be genetically different from other bovine species, it has a genetic resemblance with its ancestor `gaur’.

The total population of mithun in the country is about 3 lakh, of which, Nagaland accounts for 12%. Looking into this meagre population, there is a great need for putting in breeding and conservation efforts in this direction.
Singh said that ‘in order to bring stability in the horticulture-based farming system, animal integration is essential’. Though Índia possesses the largest number of milch animals in the world, yet their productivity is one of the lowest, which calls for efforts to enhance the productivity. Keeping these points in view, the Government has initiated schemes like Rashtriya Gokul Mission, Pasudhan Mission and Pasu Chikitsa Yojna under which the efforts are being made to conserve and further develop the indigenous breeds of cattle, he said.