Nagaland chief minister Neiphiu Rio on Saturday said Mithun is a symbol, an identity and a unique tradition of the state and is a prestige for the Nagas since time immemorial.

Dwelling on the importance of Mithun in the context of the Nagas, chief minister Rio stressed that the practice of indigenous Mithun rearing should be preserved and further expanded.

Rio said this while inaugurating a Mithun Bull Mother Farm of the Nagaland Livestock Development Board (NLDB), under the Veterinary and Animal Husbandry department, at Puliebadze at Jotsoma in Kohima district.

He said Mithun-rearing needs a wide area of forest and the site at Jotsoma community reserved forest, being one of the biggest and best forest under Kohima district, the project model under centrally sponsored scheme Rashtriya Gokul Mission was proposed and selected.

The selection was done after properly studying its topography, climate, vegetation and most importantly the natural habitat and the experiences in Mithun farming practices, he said.

All the Mithuns belonging to individual farmers were procured by the NLDB and handed over to Jotsoma Village Council for the project, Rio added.

He lauded the village council for accepting the government’s proposal to set up this project, a trust between the village and the government, at Jotsoma village building.

Nagaland CM Rio urged all concerned to regulate and use it wisely and later adopt this model in other remote places with maximum forest area.

Rio appealed to the Veterinary department and the village council that the project should be a model for sustainable forest conservation by generating maximum income without detrimental effect to the forest ecology.

NLDB managing director Neikeyielie Theunuo said the Mithun Bull Mother Farm at Jotsoma had been formulated to be a model to sustain the ecological balance of the reserve forest so that the agricultural activities and deforestation can be controlled.

He said Mithuns play an important role in protection of forests and villages from wild fire apart from revenue generation.

In the project, he said, communitisation has been implemented for the first time to generate revenue for the whole community with equal dividend of the revenue to its members so that the community land usage does not go biased and with equal share of income.

By implementing breeding guidelines, the desired genotype and phenotypic characters can be obtained for further propagation and development while the forest flora and fauna can be maintained well without any detrimental effect as was observed and cross studied intensively, Theunuo stated.

Stating that the project has intensive system, free range, semi-intensive rearing type, he said it aims to conserve, develop and propagate indigenous Mithun in its native breeding tract and develop and produce desired progenies of pure Naga strain through selective breeding for further propagation and multiplication of superior bulls to other breeding tract.

Two Mithun sheds to accommodate a minimum of 100 elite Mithun cows have been constructed in the farm with attendant barrack to accommodate two Mithun boys.

The farm also consists of office-cum-training centre to conduct research and training on Mithun.

Bhadra Gogoi

Bhadra Gogoi is Northeast Now Correspondent in Nagaland. He can be reached at: