By NURUL LASKAR
Goat farming is seeing positive indicators in India. “It is one of the most sought-after meats and even the products from its milk is having good demand. Goats produce kids more than once a year, so if you start with few goats, you can soon maintain a sustainable farm. Also maintaining goats are comparatively easy,” this was stated by Dr Abdus Saleque, Chief Scientist, Goat Research Centre (under Assam Agriculture University) situated at Burnihat, on the outskirts of Guwahati. Dr Saleque was addressing a team consisting of students and faculty from the University of Science & Technology Meghalaya (USTM), volunteers from the pan Indian NGO “Star Bus Foundation” and members of the “Stars of North East”, a group of professionals engaged in unearthing and nurturing youth of our society.
Dr Saleque, who did his BVSc & MVSc from Assam Agriculture University, obtained his PhD from GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology, Pantnagar, Uttaranchal in 1990. His research work covering various fields of life sciences has received wide acceptance and appreciation from across the continents. Starting his career in 1977 as a Veterinary Assistant Surgeon in the Government of Assam he has today ascended to the position of the Chief Scientist of the Goat Research Centre. He has been instrumental in helping a large number of SHGs and entrepreneurs in setting up goat farms in different parts of the North East.
In his deliberation, while dealing with all aspects of goat farming, he compared goat farming to five fingers of our hand, and said, “The five fingers of goat farming are – location and housing, selection of breed, management of the farm, nutrition of the goats, and health cover for the animals. He assured the visitors that if anyone wants to organise an awareness camp, or a training programme, or even a vaccination camp for the animals, the GRC would be ready to depute its officials and other requirements free of cost.
Dr Rezwan Hussain, on behalf of the Stars of North East, handed over the Award of Excellence to Dr Saleque in recognition to his pioneering work in the field of research in the field of goat farming and prevention of disease among other livestock breeds in Assam. Dr Saleque and his team of workers took the visitors on a round of the farm to have a first-hand experience of how goats are managed in a farm.
Earlier at the outset, Shirin Latif, an interior designer and project manager, having worked with different multinational five-star hotel brands in India and abroad, shared her dream of changing the lives of five lakh underprivileged children of Assam, and sought the help of Stars of North East in this mission.
The visit and interactive session at the Goat Research Centre was conceptualised and implemented by Ikram Hussain, motivational expert.