Convergence-Prani Sebee – Department of Technical Education, Training & Skill Development, Government of West Bengal


SKOCH Award Nominee

Category: Training & Skill Development – State
Sub-Category: subTraining & Skill Development – State
Project: Convergence-Prani Sebee
Start Date: 2017-01-02
Organisation: Department of Technical Education, Training & Skill Development, Government of West Bengal
Respondent: Mr Anoop Kumar Agrawal, Principal Secretary
pbssd.gov.in
Level: Premium Plus


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Case Study

Prani Sebee Scheme in West Bengal Improves Farmstock Management

Prani Sebee is a convergence scheme by the Government of West Bengal aimed at capitalising the full potential of farming livestock. The livestock in West Bengal is reportedly the 7th highest in the country. Animal Husbandry is one of the cornerstones of the state’s rural economy.

Problems

There were a lot of problems with the approaches to Artificial Insemination in use in the state prior to this project being rolled out. A lot of mistakes were made during the process, which created a host of issues, starting from infections and ailments in the cattle and livestock. Incorrect planning and timelines also created issues such as recurring breeding cycles in contradiction to the desired timeline and frequency.

It was plain to see that there was no standardised approach to training workers in Artificial Insemination. This resulted in an undertrained/ incapable workforce dealing with a critical component of farmstock management. As a result, there were impediments to developing better breeds of the higher milching livestock species. The scarcity of properly-trained and certified workers meant that the farmers could not look forward to meeting their farming goals. Most farmers, as a result, had to make do with low to medium cattle strength. Many farmers, especially the older demographic, did not even know about Artificial Insemination and its potential for boosting farm productivity.

The lack of standardised training and proper training centres in the state also meant that the Prani Sebee scheme could not be fully implemented and its potential was being wasted.

Solutions

To begin with, the administration focused on raising the number of trained and certified Artificial Insemination specialist workers in the state. The state worked to establish Artificial Insemination training centres, with special consideration given to underserved areas so that they may get an opportunity to grow faster. Awareness camps were organised to educate the farming community about Artificial Insemination. These camps focused on traditional farmers but also made an effort to reach out to the youth of the state to offer an unexplored avenue for skill development and possible employment and income generation. By improving the standards of Artificial Insemination practices in the state, the administration aims to improve milk production and farmstock productivity. The key strategy is to plan targeted and timely interventions.

Outcomes

As many as 4832 candidates enrolled between 2016 and 2019 to learn under the Prani Sebee scheme. 63 vocational institutes in West Bengal are now offering training courses in Artificial Insemination. The course is available across 18 districts in the state. The administration has also enabled the doorstep delivery of Artificial Insemination services, so farmers can easily sign up for and avail of the same without any hassles. The focus on training and skill development has directly impacted the quality of practice in the state. Both genital and non-genital diseases as well as infections in farmstock have gone down. The livestock is much healthier now in comparison to pre-project times. Milk production in West Bengal has increased manifold. Opportunities for skill development, employment and earning are now available to the youth of the state. This is especially meaningful for the rural youth, who have limited options for self-employment.

Challenges

Resistance on the part of the farmers was one of the big hurdles to getting new techniques implemented. The lack of adequate information about the benefits of Artificial Insemination, know-how about the process and limited awareness made the farmers reluctant to try a new technique. Most farmers were reported to prefer natural insemination. The lack of understanding about better management and optimisation of livestock for improved productivity and breeding created some hesitation. It was also important to educate the youth in the target regions and bring them into the fold about using AI techniques for farmstock management.

Innovation

An innovative training curriculum was developed for the Prani Sebee scheme. The incorporation of the National Council of Vocational Education and Training and the National Qualification Register helped take the project to greater heights.

Opportunities

The project can be replicated throughout the state to develop 100% self-reliance on internally-produced goods and to boost the economy and trade. There is great potential for employing the youth by training and certifying them in specific technical skills. There is also an opportunity for applying the same principles to another livestock management.

Skill development and training and technical upgrades offer a lot of potential for expansion even in traditional fields like farming. The benefits of this project are manifold. Farmers are becoming familiar with a new, better and more efficient farmstock management and productivity boosting technique. Farmstock illnesses have reduced and overall health standards have improved. Milk productivity has gone up, farmers are doing better and the rural youth of the state have new opportunities.


For more information, please contact:
Mr Anoop Kumar Agrawal, Principal Secretary at prsecytetsd@gmail.com


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