Bovine species ‘mithun’ has a very significant role to play in lives of tribal communities of the North-East, the government on Sunday said, promising that it will do the needful to conserve the animal. “The government will give all possible help for conservation of mithun, the only animal that is recognised as the state animal of Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland,” the Ministry of Agriculture said in a statement.
Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers’ Welfare Radha Mohan Singh said mithun has “a very significant role” to play in lives of tribal communities of the North-East. It also figures in the official seal of Nagaland. Realising requirements for technology transfer efforts for conservation of mithun, a new Krishi Vigyan Kendra was put in place at Peren on Saturday.
ICAR’s NRC mithun is the only institute in the world dedicated purely to research on conservation and improvement of this precious animal species. The minister said the institute will work towards technology development for scientific rearing of mithuns that has not only helped in conservation of biodiversity and the rich cultural heritage of the region, but contributed to the economic development and ecological stability of north-eastern states. He noted that the tribal community in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur is closely involved in rearing of this bovine species.
The total population of mithun in the country is about 3 lakh, of which Nagaland accounts for 12 per cent. The government has initiated schemes like Rashtriya Gokul Mission, Pasudhan Mission and Pasu Chikitsa Yojna under which efforts are being made to conserve and develop indigenous breeds of cattle.