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Andhra Pradesh Drought Adaptation Initiative (APDAI)



Deccani Sheep Breed Improvement Program

 

Deccani breed is one among the category of breed suitable for drought prone areas especially the Deccani track. With this rationale, a pilot was grounded in Mahabubnagar district. In the beginning few flocks in the villages were replaced by Deccani rams. In the later phase, all the flocks in a village were replaced with Deccani rams to achieve the pilot objectives in full spirit (See Box 1: Details of Breeding Rams and Sheep population covered).

Box No. 1: Details of Breeding Rams and Sheep Population covered (year wise)

Year

No. of villages

No. of shepherds covered

Sheep population rams

Total Deccani

Method

2007-08 2 11 769 43 Open nucleus
2008-09 14 208 6400 226 General
2009-10 6 84 6200 212 Open nucleus
Total 22 303 13369 481  

 

There were 2 streams followed in introducing Deccani Rams;

  • Stream 1 : Directly introducing 1.5 years old pure Deccani Ram @ One for 25 ewes

  • Stream 2 : Rearing of pure Deccani Ram lambs of 4 months age (either in a group of 20-30 by rearers or 1 or 2 by women labourers) till it attains 1-1.5 year and introducing the suitable ones in to the flock

This cycle was continued round the year till all the existing rams were replaced by the pure Deccani Rams in the selected area. The long term goal is to saturate the potential villages with Deccani sheep breed so that the dual purpose of conserving the Deccani breeds locally and also making it available in local markets is achieved.

 

This process was also steered on the platforms of MMS. Village Organizations, Sheep Rearers, SHG members discussed and finalized the modalities. Purchasing of breeding rams was done in collaboration with Animal Husbandry department, from places like Latoor, Solapur, Sangli, Bellary in Maharashtra and Karnataka states. Insurance and vaccination services were extended to the rams. Required precautions with regard to health, feeding and breeding were taken. The body weights of the rams were regularly monitored, at monthly intervals. In the stream-1, 50% of the ram cost is supported by Jeevakranti program of Department of Animal Husbandry, as grant, not exceeding to Rs. 1250- per ram. The rest of the cost is borne by the beneficiary. In absence of Jevakranti support, MMS provided 50% of cost, not exceeding Rs. 1750- as Revolving Fund at 4% interest per annum. In stream-2, 50% of the ram cost was supported by the APDAI project as Revolving Fund, not exceeding to Rs. 650 per ram lamb and the beneficiary contributed rest of the cost. In both the cases, APDAI supported the total transportation cost for purchasing rams from Deccani tracks of Maharashtra (around Nanded) and Karnataka (Bellary). Insurance cost was borne by the beneficiary.

 

By 2009-2010, the initiative was extended to 10 villages in Yalal Mandal of Ranga Reddy district, apart from the existing 15 APDAI villages in Mahabubnagar district. In Yalal mandal, 32 SHGs were formed with shepherds and these groups were federated at mandal level, forming a network. In Mahabubnagar, there was complete replacement of the existing breeding rams with good quality Deccani breeding rams, in 3 villages; Suraipalli (60 rams), Bijaram (33 rams) and Regadimailaram (36 rams). Efforts are on to work with district sheep breeders union along with AHD. Close rapport is being maintained with AP State Sheep and Goat Rearers’ Federation to scale up the idea in entire state. Intense efforts are being made to integrate this activity further into the mainstream watershed and other NRM based developmental projects. A national level platform is also being evolved to work on Deccani sheep development.

 

Issues and lesions learnt

Accessing quality breeding Rams is a major issue in breed improvement program. There were frequent changes in perception of the rearers on Deccani Rams. Regular inputs are required for them on the management practices. Efforts should be made to make access and improve the grazing fields. Regular health care and feeding are also major issues. There should be a special
provision under Jeevakranti program for complete replacement of rams with Deccani species in an identified area.

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Diversified Farming Systems

Promotion of Millets through PDS and Integrating into the Farming System

SRI under Tank Commands and Borewells

Groundwater sharing through pooling of bore wells

Community managed common land development

Community managed livestock vaccination program

Deccani sheep breed improvement program

Promotion of Ram lamb rearing

Promotion of network based backyard poultry (BYP)

Community based inland fisheries

Leasing Plough Bullock Constraints for Poor Farmers

Efforts and Strategies to scale up APDAI initiatives

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