Hester Biosciences Limited through its Veterinary Social Business (VSB) division has recently launched a new initiative to support animal product technology to improve profitability for livestock entrepreneurs.
The Livestock and Veterinary Entrepreneurship Development (LiVE) initiative aims to increase awareness of low-cost inputs such as silage and hay making, feed blocks and mineral blocks, as well as value-addition technologies for livestock and poultry products to benefit smallholder farmers in India and Nepal.
Hester is currently implementing a project in partnership with GALVmed to create a sustainable supply chain for veterinary medicines and vaccines in 70 districts of Uttar Pradesh and Bihar in India and in Nepal. Farmers in these areas will benefit from the LiVE initiative.
Profitability remains a challenge for smallholder farmers. This is mainly due to rising input cost and low value livestock products. While smallholder farmers are the majority, they tend to be less organised than the commercial farmers and therefore do not access improved technologies and inputs to enable them to improve their productivity and profitability from their livestock and poultry keeping. Smallholder farmers are therefore likely not to adopt good management practices like timely vaccinations, deworming, farm hygiene etc. Many of them are also not adding value to their products to make them more marketable.
The LiVE initiative will spur the growth of livestock industry by encouraging smallholder farmers to start businesses either at individual level or by linking to Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs). The program will then identify certain farmers and train them on animal product technologies.
LiVE encourages entrepreneurs to take initiatives to prevent livestock mortality through preventive healthcare products; increase productivity through low cost nutritional interventions; facilitate backward and forward linkage for animal products, feed, fodder animal waste utilization technologies dissemination and many others. With the adoption of good management practices appropriate animal products production, profitability will increase.
The program was launched in Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh on June 24, 2019 and in Patna, Bihar on June 26, 2019.
Written by Dr Rahul Srivastava (Veterinary Social Business, Hester) and Dr Peetambar Kushwaha (GALVmed)