GIS mapping of farms under Livestock Census

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Bhumika app to be used by enumerators to gather information and complete geotagging

The 20th Livestock Census, launched by the Animal Husbandry Department on Friday, will also strive to complete GIS (Geographical Information System) mapping of farms.

This will help improve the livestock management system which will help prevent or contain the spread of infectious diseases. Bhumika, an application developed for animal resource management, will be used by enumerators to gather information and complete geotagging.

N. Ramakrishnan, State nodal officer of the census, says 2,500 enumerators will be deployed to complete the project by May 31.

“GIS mapping is one of the innovative ideas to better manage the livestock and quickly access details from any location. The Centre has sanctioned ₹8.24 crore for the project,” he told .

Philomina Thomas, project officer of the Intensive Cattle Development Project (ICDP), Kozhikode, says the task will be completed with the support of 165 livestock inspectors and 88 supervisors in Kozhikode district. They have been given tabs to enter data online at the spot after visiting houses and farms in the assigned area.

“GIS mapping will help better field-level intervention to combat contagious diseases. Moreover, it will also give a clear picture on the extent of livestock in a particular area and details of its owners for suitable intervention,” she said. The absence of such a system was a handicap in rescuing livestock during last year’s floods.

During the census, details of 15 types of farm animals and eight types of poultry will have to be collected. Also, the details of owners, including their photo, contact number, and Aadhaar number, will be collected to ensure a flawless online repository for effective management.

Welfare schemes

Officials say all future livestock welfare schemes of the State and the Centre will be based on the data gathered during the census. As of now, each enumerator will cover 50 houses a day. On the recommendation of census authorities, micro-level information will be gathered after classifying the animals and birds on the basis of breeds. The plan is to geotag about 10 lakh cattle and poultry farms across Kerala.

The census, which was delayed in Kerala following the floods, will be helpful for the department to prepare an updated district-wise data on the total production of milk, egg, and meat. The fisheries sector too will be covered during the census. At present, the calculations are based on the census in 2012.

Officials say the 19th census had put the livestock population at 27.35 lakh in the State. It must have come down with the recent floods and other rain-related calamities.

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