ANIMAL HUSBANDRY DEPARTMENT
The primary role of the Animal Husbandry Department is to provide veterinary aid and undertake advanced animal husbandry activities. These consist of the treatment of ailing animals, protecting them from contagious diseases and bringing improvement of breeds by various methods such as the castration of scrub and stunted bulls under the supplementary cattle breeding centre scheme. Besides, the department advises the people in hygienic methods of animal management and for propaganda purposes, participates in the cattle and poultry shows and fairs held from time to time at various places in the State. Artificial insemination is a new technique for improvement of livestock which is also used to improve pure breeding and crossbreeding by supplying artificial insemination to cultivators, free of cost.
Organisation: At the State level, the department is headed by the
Director of Animal Husbandry, Maharashtra State, Pune. The Ahmadnagar district falls under the Pune division. District Animal Husbandry Officer, who is in charge of animal husbandry activities in the district, is responsible to the Regional Animal Husbandry Officer, Pune, in technical matters and for other matters, he is responsible to the Agricultural Officer of the Zilla Parishad. The Animal Husbandry Officer of the Zilla Parishad is assisted by one District Veterinary Officer, Animal Husbandry Extension Officers, livestock supervisors and other necessary staff.
Veterinary institutions: In Ahmadnagar district a chain of ten veterinary hospitals, three veterinary dispensaries and 43 veterinary aid centres
has been established throughout the district and includes veterinary hospitals
located at Ahmadnagar, Akola, Rahuri, Shrirampur, Karjat, Jamkhed, Pathardi, Shevgaon, Shrigonda and Kopargaon and veterinary dispensaries at Sangamner, Parner and Newasa. All these institutions have been transferred to the Zilla Parishad. All the dispensaries and hospitals are under the charge of Veterinary Officers who are concerned with the treatment of sick animals and other animal husbandry development schemes at their respective headquarters. The Extension Officers in blocks are mainly concerned with the implementation of animal husbandry development schemes at taluka and village levels such as posting of premium bulls under various schemes, maintenance of requisite records and supply of improved ram and poultry for improvement of the local non-descript livestock. The livestock supervisors, in charge of veterinary aid centres, give treatment to the sick animals and carry out other usual work in their jurisdiction.
During the year 1965-66, 1,15,911 animals were given treatment whereas in 1968-69 the figure stood at 1,16,652 animals. In the district
there was one District Artificial Insemination Centre with 16 sub-centres during 1968-69 where 3,254 animals were inseminated. In the same year 22,341 animals were castrated and 3,51,120 were vaccinated.
An intensive poultry development block was established at Ahmadnagar in November 1966, under which various facilities such as free technical guidance and advice, vaccinations, short training in poultry husbandry for 15 days, loans in kind, supply of improved birds and feed, marketing of produce, etc., are given to poultry-keepers Loans worth Rs. 22,000 have been advanced in kind to the deserving farmers so far and 440 farmers trained. In view of the present food shortage problem various sheep schemes are undertaken of which the mutton production and crash programme schemes have been implemented. Under the crash programme scheme adopted in the district since 1965, 40 rams and 500 ewes have been supplied to five centres. There is one cattle breeding farm at Kopargaon under State sector and four supplementary cattle breeding centres where 16 breeding bulls and 167 cows of breedable age have been posted. A district premium bull scheme is also in operation under which 128 bulls have been provided. Two sheep breeding centres are established in Karjat and Rahuri talukas for improvement of sheep. There is a poultry demonstration centre at Newasa which aims at providing better marketing facilities to the poultry-producers. The eggs collection and marketing scheme is in operation in the district and is very much popular amongst the cultivators, as it provides more than a marginal profit for the poultry-producers.
In irrigated tracts of Ahmadnagar district, Gir breed is popular amongst the cultivators. In non-irrigated tracts, khillar breed is popular among the farmers. In Akola taluka due to heavy rainfall Dangi breed is well survived and is very famous. Recently breeding programme has been undertaken in the district and people are getting full advantage of exotic semen like Jursy Hoiestin breeds.
Under the key village scheme, there are two key village centres established at Kopargaon and Sangamner, in addition to the twelve units located at Sanvastari, Rahata, Hurshpur, Rui, Yesgaon, Puntambe in Kopargaon taluka and Vadgaon, Pen Dhondoipal, Niman, Torve, Doasam and Chikani in Sangamner taluka.