Livestock in Batticaloa
Livestock has long been an integrate component of the rural economy of the Batticaloa district. This potential growth sector has been recognized as a key sector playing vital role in poverty reduction, improving living status of the populace, mitigating rural urban gaps, resolving gender issues by creating job opportunities for women, improving fertility of soil and Contributing to the GDP of the district. Livestock sector is regarded by the government as a priority sector in development programmes. Considering the fact that the national milk Production meets only … percent of the counties requirement, dairy development is regarded as a priority area in the livestock sector, Batticaloa district caries around 9 percent of the national buffalo and Cattle population. The availability of grasslands (Though not fully developed) rice fallows and possibility of getting feed ingredients like as maize, rice bran products, and various crop micro products and an active labour force provide favourable resource – base for Livestock development in the district. Three decade old war complexities in the Batticaloa have been mainly responsible for the slow growth in the sector. Inadequate availability of quality breeding stock (over 90% are low productive indigenous animals), issues in animal feed availability, structural issues in the sector, poor collective action by farmers, weak marketing network, low adoption of improved technologies, inadequate veterinary services, poor participation of private sector, and policy constraints in the open market economy are presently identified problems, issues and challenges in the livestock sector.
The 2012 Development Plan envisages an annual growth rate in the Livestock Sector and is focused on three major focus areas:
Focus Area I: Enhancing production and productivity of Livestock.
Focus Area II: Promoting farmer empowerment and skill development
Focus Area III: Improving livestock marketing and value addition.
The development programmes include increasing supply of breeding stock (cross bred heifer calves and goats day old broiler and layer chicks) promoting back yard poultry keeping, increasing availability of animal feed, improving veterinary services, promoting collective action among livestock farmers, strengthening entrepreneurial skill of stake holders, improving livestock marketing and promoting processing and value addition of livestock products.
Livestock Development Goals
The overall development goal is to strengthen the district economy by increasing production and productivity in the livestock sector by accelerating its annual rate
• Achieve sustained and equitable economic and social benefit for those who are dependent on the sector.
• Improve nutritional status of the people and make milk, meat and egg at affordable prices to consumers to reduce malnutrition and cost of living.
• Increase domestic livestock products at competitive prices to promote livestock development resulting in the economic prosperity of the district.
The livestock development plan aims at achieving these goals by focusing on 03 thrust areas, development programs and activities.