Pro Poor Livestock Sector Review & Policy Development Process
CARD supported Livestock Sector Review and Policy Development Process under SDC-IC-CALPI Programme in Chhattisgarh state (all districts). The policy development initiative focused on Capacity Development in Human and Institutional Development by Training and Exposure with particular emphasis on key stakeholders who were participants in the Sector Review and Policy Development process. The assignment aimed at producing Sector study/ Situation analysis of the Livestock Sector in Chhattisgarh and Development of a Perspective Livestock Development plan along with the new Policy Document. The Chhattisgarh state has a livestock policy approved by the state cabinet, the first state in India to do so (2005-08).
As a newly formed State, Chhattisgarh is uniquely poised to define its own destiny and is taking many innovative steps to keep its promises to the people of the State. The development of a vision document, the current process of developing a pro poor livestock policy, using the committed and talented human resources of the State, are brave new initiatives of the government.
CALPI a programme of IC in India, funded by SDC, collaborated with the State Government of Chhattisgarh to develop a pro- poor livestock policy. In order to achieve this CALPI along with local coordinating agency CARD, mounted a well-planned strategy for policy formulation.
The sensing mission that was fielded at the onset found that in order for the policy to be workable, the administrative capacity of the veterinary professionals needed much improvement. A draft roadmap was developed that entailed support to the AHD for (i) capacity development plan focusing on sensitization of stakeholders through trainings and exposures as a prelude to policy making and (ii) livestock sector review that would form the basis of policy draft. In November 2004 MOU was signed between GoCG and CALPI regarding livestock policy formulation.
The institutional framework for policy formulation was later developed in 2005 by bringing together various stakeholders namely NGOs, private companies and cooperatives, Veterinary College and the Animal Husbandry Department (AHD) staff into a heterogeneous Resource Group (RG). This was followed by formation of a facilitation group, and sub-sector study groups. The sub-sector study groups jointly researched various livestock sub-sectors (Milk, Meat, Goat, Poultry, Feed & Fodder, Health, AI, HRD, etc) and drew out recommendations that fed into the policy. They also identified local priorities through PRA and captured farmer’s preferences for animal’s species and service delivery options. Various group participatory meetings with policy makers and consultations with animal husbandry professionals in public and private sectors, civil society organizations and farmers were organized that further strengthened the process.
This document is an attempt to capture the experiences of the participants during the period of policy formulation vis-à-vis the impact of the process and the challenges that are likely to be faced during its execution.
According to the participants the entire exercise conducted in order to develop the policy has been effective in generating a critical mass of stakeholders acting in developing and implementing a forward looking policy that is both need based and implementable. Other than equipping the participants with knowledge it has impacted their mindsets and developed confidence in them to proactively contribute to the sector. Commitment of the heads of the Department in the government and a vision to expand and professionalize the sphere of operation of AHD was sought that expedited the policy development process.
The biggest challenges during the process laid with the executors in order generate cohesiveness and manage the multi-stakeholder endeavor involving the Sponsors (SDC-IC-CALPI); the Executors (AHD, CALPI, and CARD); and the Key Players (AHD including BILDP and CSLDA, AVC, Dairy Federation, University, NDDB, NGOs). Each agency/ player had to be tackled and dealt with in order to yield appropriate results in the given time frame.
The policy speaks of a strategic shift towards decentralizing service delivery, market diversification through producer group formation, establishing cross linkages with line departments and private sector and mounting an extension system in collaboration with village institutions. More specifically, the policy addresses overriding pro-poor concerns and places poverty reduction as its primary goal. It recognizes that the livestock sector has a significant potential for improving the livelihood of the landless people and small and marginalized farmers.
The ‘Chhattisgarh Livestock Development & Breeding Policy’ has gained approval in a specially convened meeting of the State Cabinet on 27 September 08. It however faces an ownership crunch by its key players (SDC-IC, CARD and AHD). While on one hand the institutional mechanisms that are required to take the policy forward are yet to be established, on the other hand the department needs to cope with the deficit budget required to implement the policy. In this context though the process is being considered as a positive step, many fear that like any other policy this policy would also be only on papers.