The ICAR-National Research Centre on Yak, Dirang organized the Annual Yak Mela,2021 at the scenic Lubrang village, situated in the West Kameng district of Arunachal Pradesh.
The village is solely inhabited by Brokpas (yak herders), thus serving the objective of the event to promote and disseminate scientific yak rearing among the yak herders in the country.
The Mela was organized in collaboration with the District Administration of Dirang Circle, Department of Animal Husbandry and Veterinary, 4th Bn ITBP, 30th Bn SSB,NIMAS, Dirang and National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD).
Chief Minister Pema Khandu and Union Minister Law & Justice Kirin Rijiju inaugurated the Annual Yak Mela and graced the event as Chief Guest and Guest of Honour respectively, while Dr. B.N. Tripathi, Deputy Director-General, Animal Sciences, ICAR Headquarters presided over the function.
The Mela was attended by a host of dignitaries belonging to various national institutions, Departments of the state and public leaders.
Chief Minister Khandu in his speech said that yaks are found in only selective states and appreciated the effort of ICAR-NRC on Yak through the years to support the livelihood and economy of yak herders through various scientific interventions as well as through supply of critical inputs.
He also appreciated the bankable yak scheme developed by ICAR-NRC on Yak in collaboration with NABARD and asked the state government to follow suit with a similar scheme for the yak herders.
While acknowledging the tough life of the Brokpas, he urged for conservation of yak stating it as the duty of the people and the Government alike.
He concluded with the promise for assistance and development of the marketing and entrepreneurship sector for yak products.
Union Minister Rijiju in his address admired the beauty of the village and assured assistance towards better livelihood and infrastructure.
He strongly urged to make Yak Mela an annual festival to promote tourism in the region.
B.N. Tripathi, DDG, Animal Science, emphasized the need to increase yak population and to propagate superior germplasm mostly because it is strongly intertwined with the related socio-economic aspect of the yak farmers.
He urged for the adoption of developed technologies for breeding as well as for the value addition of products.
Dr. Mihir Sarkar, Director ICAR-NRC on yak, Dirang, in his welcome address highlighted the Yak Mela’s objective to promote scientific yak rearing and celebrating the life of yak and Brokpas.
He also educated the crowd regarding the yak insurance policy of National Insurance Company Ltd. (NICL) and bankable scheme for yak developed in collaboration with NABARD which are both the product of the relentless effort of the Institute for promoting yak husbandry.
The Yak Mela was participated by Brokpas from nine (9) neighbouring villages and critical inputs in the form of concentrate feeds, Complete Feed Blocks, mineral mixtures, gumboots, ropes, solar lamps, first aid kit for yaks and COVID kit for the farmers were distributed to 156 farmer-beneficiaries under Scheduled Tribe Component (STC) of the Institute.
Furthermore, Vanaraja chicks were also distributed to four farmers of Lubrangvillage under Project Directorate on Poultry by the Project Incharge of the Institute.
There was also a performance from cultural groups and yak herders from Nyukmadung village performed the famous yak dance giving the event an aura of festivity.
The villagers too set up stalls showcasing their rich tradition and way of life; giving the crowd an opportunity to take a glimpse of their everyday life with the ever-majestic yaks.