| Deborah Marak in the Assembly on Wednesday. Picture by UB Photos |
Shillong, March 20: Meghalaya still has a long way to go to meet meat consumers’ requirements, as the state is experiencing a huge shortfall in the production of beef and pork.
Replying to a query raised by UDP legislator Jemino Mawthoh in the Assembly today, animal husbandry and veterinary minister Deborah C. Marak said annually, the state was facing a shortfall of 8,932 tonnes in beef production and 1,395 tonnes in pork production.
She said the annual shortfall in the production was calculated on the basis of the annual production and consumption during 2011-12.
During 2011-12, the annual consumption of beef and pork was 13,988 tonnes and 8,704 tonnes, respectively, she stated.
On the steps taken to meet the demand and reduce the deficit, Marak said the government would be setting up more cattle farms and piggeries.
She said the government had decided to come up with pig breeding farms in Mawkyrwat in South West Khasi Hills, Williamnagar in East Garo Hills, vocational training centres in Upper Shillong, East Khasi Hills district and in Williamnagar, while a cattle farm would be set up at Resubelpara in North Garo Hills.
The other steps to meet the demand include an increase in coverage of artificial insemination, identification and training of farmers and entrepreneurs, establishment of more dispensaries for extensive healthcare, increase in the number of beneficiaries for subsidy schemes and establishment of new training centres and piggeries under the Rashtriya Krishi Bima Yojana.
To a question raised by National People’s Party legislator Nihim D. Shira on the total number of buffalo farms in the state, Marak said there was only one existing farm at Songsak Bonegre in East Garo Hills. She said there were 22,627 buffaloes on the farm.
Shira countered by saying that the figure was incorrect and that the minister was misleading the House. He also asked the minister to rectify her reply. “The buffalo farm is under my constituency, and there are not even 100 buffaloes on the farm,” Shira said.
The minister, however, maintained that the figures were based on available data.