Two- third of world’s poor live in Asia below defined poverty lines and more than 65 % of them are poor livestock keepers deriving their economic sustenance from small ruminant rearing. Small and marginal farmers or land less labors with negligible land holding for conventional agriculture rely on livestock, particularly small ruminant rearing for their sustenance. Sheep and goat rearing is less capital intensive operated by employing surplus family labor or women and children on community rangeland under extensive range management. Agro-climatically large part of the country is semiarid and arid where conventional agriculture is always a gamble due to erratic rain and frequent failure of monsoon hence livestock particularly small ruminant play pivotal role in agrarian economy. Sheep were earlier reared for wool as the major produce while with paradigm shift in agriculture meat has replaced wool. More than 70 % Indian consumers are non vegetarian by choice with preference for sheep and goat meat. With rapid urbanization and improvement in economic status, the demand for meat is likely to increase further than the present level of 6 kg/person/year. Moreover the demand for meat in southern states, J & K and export market is increasing rapidly requiring development of technology to meet the challenge. The advantage of large population size, comparatively leaner meat yield suited for elite calorie conscious consumers, organic production, increasing demand of domestic market and export avenues due render the venture promising for investment by entrepreneurs. Various system of small ruminant production is practiced world over while the existing system of extensive range management and developed system of grazing with supplementation and intensive feeding has relevance in Indian context. Moreover under extensive range management the small ruminants are practically reared on organic production system hence their produce can fetch premium price in high-end domestic and international markets. The need of the day is to increase carcass weight and reproductive efficiency with a strategy to produce more quality meat/animal. Additionally to cater to the need of international market and safeguard consumers interest the codex of Good Animal Feed Practices (GFPs), Good Hygiene Practices (GHPS), Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs) and development of Cold Chain system has to be given due weightage. In order to increase the small ruminant production time targeted programs on improving growth rate, feed conversion efficiency and carcass quality with concomitant reduction in cost of feed input/kg live weight gain has to taken up on priority. Along with efforts should be made for improving production efficiency, feed supplies, value addition of dressed meat, slaughter by product utilization and development of heat and eat quality cousins to render the venture profitable. In light of importance of the issue, the present topic of winter School on “Small ruminant production system for commercial mutton production and value addition to augment income generation” has relevance in enhancing quality meat in the country and earning of the sheep farmers. The information contained in compilation has practical relevance to scientists and teachers involved in researches to enhance meat production as well as progressive farmers and entrepreneurs in commercializing the venture. The compilation will serve as a repository of information on meat production and its value addition in India.
Dr. S.A. Karim, Director, Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, is a distinguished Animal Scientist, well known for his contributions in Animal Science more specifically in the areas of Sheep, Goat and Rabbit nutrition, meat production and value addition. He completed his B.V. Sc & A.H. and M.V.Sc. (Animal Nutrition) from Orissa Veterinary College in the year of 1974 and 1976, respectively. He was awarded university gold medal for securing first position in M.V.Sc (AN). He completed his Ph.D. degree in Animal Nutrition from National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal in the year of 1991. Dr. Karim joined Agriculture Research Service (ARS) in 1978. He has 30 years of research experience in ruminant nutrition with specialization in nutrition–environment interaction, growth maximization, nutrition of range managed small ruminants and carcass evaluation. He was Head of Animal Nutrition Division and Meat Science section for several years. He has more than 350 publication of National and International repute in his credit. Dr. Karim was also the editor of Indian Journal of Small Ruminants and member of editorial board of many journals. He has guided several Ph.D. students. He is a member of several important academic bodies such as Board of Studies, Academic council, Research Advisory Committee. He is also associated actively as member/office bearer of many professional/scientific societies.
Dr. M. K. Tripathi, is currently holding position of Senior Scientist (Animal Nutrition), Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar. He obtained his M. Sc. and Ph.D. degree in Animal Nutrition from Gobind Ballabh Pant university of Agriculture and Technology Pantnagar in the year of 1990 and 1999, respectively. Dr. Tripathi was awarded BOYSCAST Fellowship sponsored by Department of Science and Technology (DST), Government of India and did his Post Doctoral research work on, Isolation and bioconversion of glucosinolate in to health promoting bio-active metabolites (AITC) by whole intestinal microflora at Institute National de le Recherche Agronomique (INRA), France. He joined Agriculture Research Service (ARS) as Scientist in 1993. He has more than fourteen years research experience in the field of ruminant nutrition with specialization in manipulation of rumen metabolism to improve productivity, improvement of feed quality and rumen microbiology. Dr Tripathi is Assistant Editor of Indian Journal of Small Ruminants, and sectional Editor of two International Journals (Medwell) Research Journal of Dairy Science and Research Journal of Animal Science. Dr. Tripathi is also Vice-President of Animal Nutrition Society of India for 2005-06. He has 60 research publications in his credit.
Dr. O. H. Chaturvedi is currently working as Senior Scientist (Animal Nutrition). He obtained his M. Sc. (Ag) and Ph.D. degree in Animal Nutrition from Gobind Ballabh Pant University of Agriculture and Technology Pantnagar and National Dairy Research Institute, Karnal in the year of 1988 and 1993, respectively. He joined Agriculture Research Service (ARS) as a Scientist in 1993. He has more than fourteen years of research experience in the field of ruminant nutrition, improvement of feed quality and extension. Dr Chaturvedi has more than 80 research publications in his credit.
Dr. A. K. Shinde is a Principal Scientist (Livestock Production and Management) at Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute, Avikanagar, Rajasthan. He did his M.V.Sc. and Ph.D. in Livestock Production and Management from Jawaharlal Nehru Krishi Vishwavidhyalaya, Jabalpur in 1983 and 1996. He joined Agriculture Research Service (ARS) as a Scientist in 1989. He has more than eighteen years of research experience in the field of small ruminant nutrition on pasture, energy expenditure and mineral nutrition. Dr Shinde has more than105 research publications. He has been In-charge of livestock production unit (Goats) for several years. Dr Shinde also awarded Rajiv Gandhi Gyan Vigyan Hindi Pustak Puraskar for his Hindi book Applied Animal Husbandry in the year 2007.