New veterinary centre at Thandiyadi to improve livestock production

06 Sep 2011

Providing access to improved veterinary services for livestock farmers will result in increased livestock production and profitability, while further strengthening the local livestock industry. For those living in the Vavunathivu DS Division in Batticaloa District, where livestock is the main source of income for nearly 4,000 families, an efficient veterinary service centre was a long-felt need. Having identified this need, the Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH), together with the Divisional Secretary and UNDP initiated the construction of a veterinary office at Thandiyadi, thereby enabling livestock farmers in the area to benefit through improved access to animal health services.

The centre was declared open by Hon. Sivanesathurai Chanthirakanthan, Chief Minister of the Eastern Province on July 23, 2011. It was earlier handed over to the Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) on July 18, 2011 by UNDP for maintenance

The centre was declared open by Hon. Sivanesathurai Chanthirakanthan, Chief Minister of the Eastern Province on July 23, 2011. It was earlier handed over to the Department of Animal Production and Health (DAPH) on July 18, 2011 by UNDP for maintenance and operation. The project was funded by the Government of Japan and was implemented under the Japan Livelihood Development Project (Japan LDP) of the Transition Recovery Programme (TRP) of UNDP.

As many of the families in Vavunathivu do not own land for cultivation, cattle and dairy farming are the main sources of income. A considerable number of women are also actively engaged in livestock rearing. According to the Department of Animal Production and Health, about 45,000 dairy cattle, 13,000 buffalo, 14,000 goats and 19,980 poultry are available in the division.

Many of the farmers in the area had undergone severe hardships due to the lack of proper veterinary services. Prior to the construction of the veterinary centres in the Division surrounding Batticaloa Town, farmers had to travel to the town to obtain these services. The veterinary centre in the Vavunathivu DS Division, which services as an agriculture extension services centre, did not have the adequate facilities to cater to the increasing demands of farmers, who were limited to receiving basic treatment for their animals through the provision of drugs and medicine.

The newly constructed veterinary centre will enable livestock farmers to benefit through a range of animal health services needed for livestock development. The centre offers services in pest and disease control and management, artificial insemination, first aid and facilities other veterinary surgeries. The centre also aims to conduct awareness programmes on ensuring animal health, promoting food safety practices and increasing production and income.

Speaking during the occasion, Hon. Sivanesathurai Chanthirakanthan, Chief Minister of the Eastern Province noted that Thandiyadi was severely affected by the conflict, and there was an urgent need to address the concerns of the villagers, especially by providing assistance for the development of the two major livelihoods of the people – agriculture and animal production.

Hon. Dr. Thuraiyappah Navaratnarajah, Minister of Agriculture, Animal Production & Development, Rural Industrial Development & Fisheries (Eastern Province) expressing his gratitude to UNDP urged the villagers to make maximum use of the newly available infrastructure and services, thereby increasing their production and profitability.

One of the cattle farmer form the Village Mr. Kulanthaivel who participated at the opening ceremony commented, “We were eagerly waiting for the opening of this office. We even made frequent visits to this place while construction activities were going on and today I am very happy to see the completed building”.