Gates Foundation to help India develop sustainable livestock sector

The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying (DAHD) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation have signed a multi-year memorandum of understanding (MoU) to work together on sustainably improving India’s livestock sector to support the nation’s food and nutritional security, and protect the economic wellbeing of small-scale livestock producers. 

The MoU was signed at an event organised as a part of the ongoing celebrations of ‘AzadiKaAmritMahotsav’, a commemoration of 75th year of India’s independence, at Krishi Bhavan in New Delhi.
The Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying is working to improve animal health and production programmes to ensure food security and economic development. Developing the livestock sector envisages strengthening animal husbandry infrastructure, entrepreneurship development and implementing `One Health’ framework. 
Through this collaboration, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation will provide technical assistance for the design and delivery of new technologies and implementation of best practices that are relevant in the local context.
The joint support programmes will be directed at improving livestock health, production, and animal nutrition, identifying scientific and technological solutions for major infectious diseases, providing technical assistance in translational sciences, identifying opportunities for scientific and technological collaboration, and implementing the One Health framework. 
The SARS-CoV-2 pandemic has accelerated the need to implement solutions for better human, animal, and environmental health. Implementation of the One Health framework will allow tracking and resolution of animal and human health challenges and will prevent possible infection and disease outbreaks. 
The National One Health platform is being established as part of this partnership to improve coordination, productivity, and support livelihoods of small-scale producers.
“The Department of Animal Husbandry and Dairying, is committed to monitor and significantly improve animal health and production in the country. This partnership with the Gates Foundation will provide technical assistance to the department to ensure sustainable growth and prosperity of India’s livestock sector and to promote an efficient, multisectoral One Health approach on critical animal health issues among a broad set of stakeholders,” Parshottam Rupala, union minister of fisheries, animal husbandry and dairying, said. He also stressed about one health initiatives for future scope.
K Vijayaraghavan, principal scientific adviser to Government of India highlighted the significance of the collaboration and reiterated that the expected outcomes would go a long way in sustainably improving the livestock sector, thereby resulting in economic development.
“Strengthening the livestock sector is one of the pre-requisites for effective implementation of One Health. This collaboration will strengthen our digital infrastructure, research and development capabilities and bridge the information gap with respect to animal-human interactions among public and private stakeholders.” Atul Chaturvedi, secretary, Department of Animal Husbandry & Dairying,  added
“The Gates Foundation is honored to deepen our partnership with DAHD, with the aim of contributing to the Government of India’s national goals for sustainable development and improvement of the livestock sector. This partnership builds on our focus on enhancing productivity and income for small livestock keepers and we hope to bring in contextually relevant expertise, innovations, and global and domestic best practices through partners to support the DAHD’s priorities of nutritional security, inclusive economic empowerment, while aligning with India’s One Health Framework,” Hari Menon, director, India country office, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, said while signing the MoU.