Pastoral Animals >
Pastoral Animals <
In the Ahmedabad edition of Living Lightly, a consultation on Pastoral animal breeds was held on the sidelines. This workshop titled the National Workshop on Recognition, Registration and Conservation of Livestock Populations in Pastoral Ecosystem, was organized with the broad objective of launching a nationwide programme using a commonly accepted methodology for the identification, registration and conservation of indigenous livestock breeds that are developed by pastoralists in different regions and for different purposes.

A session at the conference

These include cattle breeds, goats and sheep, ponies, donkeys and so forth – livestock upon which the livelihoods of pastoralist communities are founded. The workshop was a collaborative initiative of the Government of Gujarat, Centre for Pastoralism (CfP) and the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR).

The workshop was inaugurated by Smt Krishna Raj, Minister of State for Agriculture and Farmer Welfare, Government of India and was attended by senior officials from the Government of Gujarat, the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, and by animal husbandry departments from many states. Large numbers of representatives of pastoralist communities from across the country were present alongside members of civil society organizations and academics.

Chief Guest Smt. Krishna Raj (then Minister of State, GOI) and Sanjay Prasad being greeted by herders

Following an inaugural session, the 2-day workshop was divided into technical sessions, which highlighted the importance of indigenous breeds from an economic and climate change perspective; the need and process for registration of Pastoral animal breeds, and covered experiences of different States in implementing policies and programs on recognizing pastoral livestock breeds. In conclusion, a decision was taken to initiate consultations in 3-4 states through which specific pastoral communities and their breeds could be identified by each state for furthering the process of registration and recognition.

The consultation saw participation from members of academia, government officials, herders and practitioners from regions across India

Cheese >
Cheese <
As part of CfP’s interest in exploring ways to raise herder revenues, a half-day consultation was held in Ahmedabad on the sidelines of LL, to explore the potential for and challenges that might accompany initiatives aimed at the production of goat cheese

The consultation was attended by cheese-making entrepreneurs, members of civil society organizations
working with pastoralist communities, and pastoralists themselves. Our discussions revolved primarily around experiences shared by Chris Zandee, of Himalayan Cheese; Apoorva Oza, of the AKRSP, and
Aditya Raghavan, a cheese-making consultant and artisanal cheese enthusiast.

A number of likely challenges associated with the production of goat cheese were highlighted, including the key question of hygiene, the criticality of maintaining optimal temperatures during both production and curing of goat cheese, its relatively short shelf-life, the problem of procuring undiluted goat milk, and the capacity to handle large variations in capital flows.

But there was also a sense that rising urban demand and India’s almost complete dependence on imported goat cheese, created an opportune moment for herder revenues, and the ripe time to support and facilitate community led programmes for artisanal cheese enterprises.