Since its launch in 2015, RCBP has reached out to most agriculture, public health, veterinary and medical colleges across the country. So far, more than 15 research scholars have enrolled in its Masters and Ph.D funded research projects. They are undergoing regular training on EcoHealth research and supported under the India Research Initiative on Peri-Urban Human-Animal Environment Interface with funding support from International Development Research Centre, Canada. Enrolments are accepted through the year.
Small holder dairy farms in peri-urban landscapes live with poor infrastructure, lack of hygiene, ignorance and irregular visits by veterinary and health staff. This contributes to poor health management of animals, making these farms high-risk zones of disease, forcing them to nurse sick and unproductive animals and see a drop in income levels. The PERIMILK project is working towards training and capacity building of select farms in the project sites, equipping these farmers with correct knowledge about farm practices.
Running dairy farms in the hilly Northeastern state of Assam is an ardous job. The poor the farmer, higher up is his farm on the uneven hilly terrain. Adding to the woes of most of these migrant farmers are poverty, unhygienic conditions and lack of veterinary services, making them vulnerable also to zoonotic infections. The photo essay captures the grim reality of these dairy farms in the peri-urban areas of Guwahati city.
The RCZI team and expert judges from the public health domain have expressed satisfaction at the response to the essay contest announced on the eve of World Zoonoses Day 2016. As part of the larger work being done by RCZI, the contest aimed to draw students from agriculture universities, medical schools and other public health organisations and get them to share their views on three different aspects of zoonoses.
Patterns of gender division of labour in the livestock sector has seen negligible change. Women’s access to information and training in modern livestock management and dairying continues to be limited and even indirect, lowering their involvement and efficiency.
Odisha’s contribution to India’s milk basket is insignificant with majority of milk produced on farms with marginal to small landholdings of > 2 hectares with 3-4 animals. An estimated 5% of total marketable supply is handled by the formal sector, the cooperatives with balance managed through an informal network of middlemen.