Sikkim is one of the North – Eastern states situated in the Eastern Himalayan region. The state has a varied altitudes ranging from 300 to 700 meters. The state is surrounded by high Himalayan ranges, with international borders on three sides: Tibet in the north and Northeast: Nepal in the west: and Bhutan in the east. The state of West Bengal forms the Sikkim’s border in the south. The state has a total geographical area of 7096 square kilometre and is divided into four districts nine subdivisions with 453 revenue blocks, 166 Gram Panchayat and 906 Panchayat wards.
The Department of Animal Husbandry Livestock Fisheries and Veterinary Services is one of the important Technical departments of the Government of Sikkim which came into existence as a separate department from April, 1975. The Department is headed by Commissioner cum Secretary under the Charge of Minister of Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Services and the technical section is headed by Principal Director and two Directors. The district administration is headed by Joint director beside which the department has the technical cells headed by Joint Directors viz: Breeding Cell , Disease Investigation Cell , Feed & Fodder Cell and Extension & Training Cell.
Department of Animal Husbandry, Livestock, Fisheries & Veterinary Services is engaged in supporting domestic farmers in the field of milk, meat, fish and egg by providing requisite infrastructure in the State. This is ensured through improving the productivity of livestock; protection against the diseases through preventive and curative health care facilities; developing skill of farmers in modern and scientific animal husbandry practices through adequate training programmers and maintenance of demonstration farms. This sector, apart from providing milk, meat, fish and egg to the population is also a major livelihood option for rural people of the State. This provides self employment opportunity to educated unemployed youth as well. To ensure healthy and productive livestock, emphasis is laid on prevention and control of diseases through an intensive network of Veterinary Hospitals, Veterinary Dispensaries, and Artificial Insemination Centers, Sub-Centers, Disease Investigation Laboratories and extension education.
The per capita milk availability is Sikkim is 243 grams per day near to the national average, while in the developed countries it is 280 grams per day. We want to achieve per capita milk availability at par with the developed countries without fail, to meet the complete nutritional requirement for our future generations. At present total milk production in the Sikkim is 45000 MT per annum and milk procurements and processing in the organized sector is 15000-17000 litre per day which is sufficient to meet the requirement of the state. In fact marketable surplus milk is sold to neighbouring state. The Department has also taken up genetic up gradation of poor yielding livestock, by way of introduction of better germplasm into indigenous genetic pool through Artificial Insemination and other breeding practices. The department envisages to maintain a target of doubling the present production of milk from 40,000 liters to 80,000 litres in our milk unions and other organized sectors by the year 2022.
The state is already self sufficient in broiler poultry meat production at the present consumption level, however only short fall to meet the requirement of the defense personnel is procured from outside the state . The department envisages to increase the present production of poultry meat of 3518.5 MT to 6000 MT by the year 2022.
Similarly the present production in the state — eggs per annum and it is proposed to be increased to the tune of —- mostly through Rural Backyard Poultry Production scheme.
Present demand of pork in Sikkim is 550 MT, while the production is only 150 MT per annum. There is a huge demand and supply gap and we need to bridge this gap.
Sheep and Goat Development
Present demand of mutton in Sikkim is 600 MT , while the production is only 100 MT per annum. In this sector also sustained efforts are required to make Sikkim self sufficient in the goat meat production. Following strategy is formulated to achieve the desired production level in the mission period.
Since the year 1975 to 1990 till the end of 7th Five Year Plan period, 11 nos. of hospitals were set up, 25 nos. of dispensaries were set up and 65 nos. of stockman centres were set up. There were two disease investigation laboratories in the state. In the 7th Five Year Plan period from 1985 to 1990 8.30 lakhs veterinary cases were treated and vaccination was administered
Feed and Fodder
State Farms set up during this period were used for fodder production and for distribution of fodder seeds and perennial fodder plants to the farmers. Altogether 6 fodders farms were set up till the 7th Five Year Plan. Altogether from the year 1975 to 1990 over a period of 15 years 185 nos. of chaff cutter were distributed to the famers and 32.50 tonnes of fodder seeds were distributed.
Farmer Training Institution
During the initial period since 1975 to 1990, 149 nos. of calf rallys were organized, 70 nos. of farmer field day were organized and altogether 1220 nos. of farmers were trained. Besides that 240 nos. of film shows and 10 nos. of livestock shows were organized. Further, stockman and paravets training beneficiaries were 402 nos. over a period of 15 years. Physical achievements made in the initial 3 Five Year Plans of Sikkim namely, 5th, 6th and 7th Five Year Plan from 1975 to 1990 were modest and details are given at Annexure – I. During the year 1987 to 1997, animal population declined almost in all the sectors except for the cross breed cattle population which increased in this decade from 42,986 to 52,303 by 21.67% over a period of 10 years. Comparative account of livestock population from the period of 1987 to 1997 on the basis of livestock census can be seen at Annexure – II.
In the fisheries sector total demand for fish in Sikkim is 550 MT and present production of fish in Sikkim is only 160 MT. Out of this total production , approximately 120 MT is coming from riverine fisheries through licensed fishing and approximately 40 MT is production through captured fisheries practices at the farmer’s fish farms. There is gap between demand and supply and we need to bridge it through concentrated efforts of farmers, panchayats and departmental officers by the year 2015. Trout fish culture in Sikkim is at nascent stage . So far most of the efforts of the department were in promotion of Brown Trout for tourism and angling purposes. Now our focus will be promotion of Rainbow trout for food purpose. This will give direct income to our farmers in the high altitude areas. We are setting a target of 250 MT of rainbow trout fish production by the year 2015. Most of it will be consumed in the high end hostels in Gangtok and will be exported to other cities of the country. With support from North Eastern Council, two important infrastructures, one at Sokeythang, East Sikkim and another at Boomtar, South Sikkim is under progress. Similarly, with assistance from Government of India work related to establishment of Modern Abattoirs at Majitar, Namchi and Gyalshing is going to be commenced soon. With declaration of Sikkim an organic State by December 2015, Department is also putting its utmost efforts in conversion of existing practices into Organic Livestock farming. Conservation of Tibetan Sheep through support under Boarder Area Development scheme of Government of India is underway. Also a lot of emphasis has been laid on increasing trout fish production in the State through various institutions of Government of India