First Mithun Day Celebrated In Nagaland: The Bovine Officially Recognised As Food Animal - Eastern Mirror
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First Mithun Day celebrated in Nagaland: The bovine officially recognised as food animal

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By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Sep 01, 2023 10:02 pm
Mithun Day
Kazheto Kinimi, Temjen Imna Along and other dignitaries after the programme at ICAR-NRC on Mithun, Medziphema, on September 1. (EM Images)

DIMAPUR — Mithun, the state animal of Nagaland, has been officially recognised as a food animal by the Food Safety and Standards Authority (FSSAI) with effect from September 1, 2023, and its meat is named “Weeshi”.

To commemorate the occasion, first Mithun Day was celebrated at ICAR- National Research Centre (NRC) on Mithun, Medziphema, on Friday.

As per the 20th livestock census, the population of mithun has increased by 29.93% over the previous census, and the bovine has been included in the Domestic Animal Diversity Information System (DAD-IS) database.

Speaking at the event, Kazheto Kinimi, Advisor of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Services, congratulated everyone who contributed towards recognising mithun as food animal, saying that it will encourage farmers in the northeast to take mithun farming to the next level.

He said mithun farming will become a good income generating project due to its high demand within the region itself.

If proper documentation and export protocols are fulfilled, mithun meat will have excellent scope even for export, he said while stressing the need to for conservation, propagation, good management practices, diseases control and motivation to rear the animal in the villages.

Pointing out the challenges including availability of reserved forest and grazing ground in Nagaland, he said there is a need to address “these issues together with support from all stakeholders”.

‘It is our endeavour that Naga farmers in particular, who are into mithun rearing, achieve maximum benefit out of this recognition,’ he said.

On slaughtering

Temjen Imna Along, Minister of Higher Education and Tourism, urged the farmers not to slaughter mithuns indiscriminately though it’s been recognised as a food animal but preserve well-built large size mithun for breeding.

First Mithun Day celebrated in Nagaland: The bovine officially recognised as food animal
Temjen Imna Along, Minister of Higher Education and Tourism. (EM Images)

A proud mithun farmer himself with 11 of them, the minister encouraged the people to adopt scientific farming and that the animal has always been part of Nagaland. He lamented many people, including Nagas see the majestic mithun only in crafts and arts today.

Speaking about its meat, he said mass production may not be feasible but people would love to eat. ICAR in collaboration with the GOI will come up with model farm and that would be the best way, he added.

Meanwhile, Dr. Abhijit Mitra, Animal Husbandry Commissioner, DAHD, and Former Director of ICAR – NRC on Mithun, said that slaughtering animal for consumption does not decrease its population but rather increases the number because “when it has a purpose people will start rearing the animal more in numbers”.

However, he said people should not indiscriminately slaughter animal.

Highlighting the scope of mithun as an organic, functional, and alternative food, he urged the North East Animal Husbandry department to utilise the animal husbandry schemes.

M Iboyaima Meitei, Advisor (Horticulture), North East Council shared that mithun is a unique and culturally significant animal that deserves preservation, and that it not only plays a crucial role in the livelihoods and dietary traditions of indigenous communities but also contributes to the rich biodiversity of the region.

Dr. Girish Patil S, Director, ICAR-NRCM, welcomed all the dignitaries and highlighted the salient achievements of the institute. During this celebration, m-anitra app, an online Mithun market for Mithun trading, two MoUs with NEAFI LLP (Entrepreneur), Guwahati and Life Ministry Learning Centre (LMLC), Chumoukedima and Bankable Mithun Project to obtain capital from Bank for Mithun rearing were released.

A brainstorming session on ‘Strategies for Development of Mithun Sector in North East India’ held during the second session of the celebration.

Also read: Mithun Day-1st September, 2023

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By Livine Khrozhoh Updated: Sep 01, 2023 10:02:06 pm
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