'Invest in livestock to prevent farmer suicides'

  • Ishtiyaq Sibtian Joo, Hindustan Times, Hisar
  • Updated: Apr 11, 2015 22:01 IST

Haryana government can control farmer suicides in the state by investing more in livestock, claims director of research at the Lala Lajpat Rai University of Veterinary & Animal Sciences (LUVAS) here.

Sharma said that if a farmer is provided with a backup or an alternative to survive he would not think of ending his life.

"Farmers are regularly committing suicide. The reason might be anything, crop loss due to rain being one of them. Considering he has nothing to manage his expenses with he sees no alternative than to end his life," said Sharma.

"By investing in livestock, the government will not only provide the farmer an alternative, or a backup, but it will also generate good income, and help him as well as the country economically," he said.

"Even our VC has vouched that LUVAS would support livestock sector by enhancing the productivity of lifestock, poultry through research and employment of superior germplasm," Sharma said, invoking LUVAS's vice-chancellor Major General Shri Kant's recent commitment.

Sharma, who has done his doctorate from United Kingdom's Liverpool University, informs that by controlling some diseases in our livestock, India could target bigger markets such as America and European countries with its meat and its products.

"Presently we export our meat and its product to gulf countries. We do earn, but not as much as we can earn for America or from European countries with our meat products. If India becomes disease free, then we can get high prices for our meat and its products," the director said.

He adds, for better markets, India would need a disease-free zone certification from The World Organization for Animal Health (OIE).

"We have set our target of 2020 to achieve that certificate. Therefore, we are working hard to control the disease in Delhi and Punjab too," said Sharma, who has won four consecutive best research centre award from Project Directorate, ICAR for his work on foot and mouth (F&M) diseases.

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