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Annual Review Meeting 2020 of ICAR-Network Project of Sheep Improvement (NWPSI) and ICAR-Mega Sheep Seed Project (MSSP) was held on 7th January, 2021 at ICAR-CSWRI, Avikanagar under the Chairmanship of Dr. B.N. Tripathi, Hon’ble Deputy Director General (Animal Science), ICAR, New Delhi. It was co-chaired by Dr. V.K. Saxena, Assistant Director General (Animal Production and Breeding), Dr. Arun Kumar Tomar, Director, ICAR-CSWRI cum Project Coordinator and Dr. Vineet Bhasin, Principal Scientist (AG&B), ICAR Headquarter. The meeting was attended by PI/Co-PIs of 10 cooperating units of NWPSI and MSSP and Incharge, PC Unit. Some of the participants attended the meeting via video conference mode under the prevailing situation.

The major broad objective of the two projects is genetic improvement of indigenous sheep breeds through selection and dissemination of superior germplasm to the farmers’ flocks in their respective breeding tracts.  The meeting reviewed the progress made by different sheep units during January to December, 2019, suggested important recommendations for improvement in performance of the units and deliberated on future plans to be implemented. 

Dr. Tomar welcomed all the dignitaries and participants in the meeting. DDG (AS) emphasized the need to include more no. of sheep breeds under the platform keeping in view the importance of sheep husbandry in poverty alleviation of a large portion of rural population of the country. He advised to devise mechanism for real time monitoring of field activities and impact assessment of project interventions in the farmers’ flock.  Dr. Saxena highlighted on proper presentation of research output and opined that genetic analysis of the project data needs to be included five yearly. Dr. Bhasin while justifying the inclusion of more breeds under the Network platform, stressed the need to give a thorough relook on the project achievements obtained so far, in light of the assigned targets for different sheep breeds. 

Director, ICAR-CSWRI presented the Project Coordinator’s Report of both the projects and the Action Taken Report (ATR) on the recommendations of last review meeting. The progress report of four farm based units viz. Marwari, Muzaffarnagari, Deccani and Nellore sheep; two field based units viz. Madras Red and Magra sheep under NWPSI and four units under MSSP viz. Mandya, Mecheri, Sonadi and Malpura sheep were also presented and discussed. Important recommendations were made for more effective implementation of the project technical programme to achieve the desired targets. The budget requirement under SFC 2021-26 of the combined project after merger of both NWPSI and MSSP with major modification in technical programme and inclusion of some more indigenous sheep breeds of importance was also discussed. The meeting ended with vote of thanks by the Director, ICAR-CSWRI, Avikanagar.