The cute looking Mithun, an animal found in Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland, is due to get a helping hand from the Indian government.
Mithun is the only animal that is recognized as the State Animal of both Arunachal Pradesh and Nagaland.
The vow of protection of Mithun was taken by the Union Minister of Agriculture and Farmers Welfare Radha Mohan Singh. The Minister also said that:
“Mithun has a very significant role to play in the lives of the tribal communities of the North East. It also figures in the official seal of the state of Nagaland.”
To help in conservation, a new Krishi Vigyan Kendra has been put in place at Peren yesterday. As per government sources, in Research & Development, ICAR’s NRC Mithun is the only Institute in the world dedicated purely to the research on conservation and improvement of this precious animal species.
The Institute will work towards technology development for scientific rearing of Mithuns that has not only helped in the conservation of the biodiversity and the rich cultural heritage of the region, but also contributed to the economic development and ecological stability of the NE states. He underscored that the tribal community in Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Mizoram and Manipur is closely involved in rearing of this bovine species, called `Mithun’.
Mithun may be genetically different from other bovine species, yet, it has a genetic resemblance with its ancestor `gaur’.
The total population of Mithun in the country is about 3 lakh, of which, Nagaland accounts for 12%.
Radha Mohan Singh also said that ‘in order to bring stability in the horticulture-based farming system, animal integration is essential.’
He further underscored that while India possesses the largest number of milch animals in the world, yet their productivity is one of the lowest, which calls for efforts to enhance the productivity.
Keeping these points in view, the Government has initiated schemes like Rashtriya Gokul Mission, Pasudhan Mission and Pasu Chikitsa Yojna under which the efforts are being made to conserve and further develop the indigenous breeds of cattle.