The Indian Veterinary Research Institute (IVRI), which is currently headquartered at Izatnagar, Bareilly (Uttar Pradesh) was initially established at Pune (Maharashtra) in 1889 as the Imperial Bacteriological Laboratory for conducting research for the protection of Indian livestock wealth from the dreaded diseases. The foundation stone of the laboratory was laid by the Governor of Bombay on December 9, 1889 in about 2.2 hectare of land presented by a philanthropist, Sir Dinshaw Maneckji Petit Bart, adjoining the College of Science at Pune. After a few years in 1893, the institute was shifted to Mukteswar (Uttarakhand) and later on to its present location in Izatnagar. During the celebrations of 125th year of the existence of the institute, it was decided to open a new Centre of the IVRI at its birthplace i.e. Pune to cater to the needs of Western region of India as there was no Animal Science institute of ICAR in Western region of the country. Accordingly, in XII Plan, a new Training and Education Centre of IVRI was approved, and the Centre started functioning from 20th May 2015.
Extension of knowledge, skills, technology and services to the grass-root level is important for the growth of livestock sector. However, compared to crop sector, extension services for livestock have been lagging. Very often, the livestock related technologies developed in the research institutes do not reach the end-users for the want of efficient and effective extension mechanisms and procedures, which remains one of the major stumbling blocks in the transformation of innovations into practice. Institutional, infrastructural and strategic reorientation, therefore, is urgently required to ensure effective percolation and adoption of the various newer, useful technologies in the field. Further, in the drought prone and rain-fed areas of Western India, animal husbandry serves as financial instrument, by providing households with an alternative for cash savings, as the animals can be sold and transformed into cash as and when needed. For many poorer households, livestock provide a means of income diversification to help deal with times of financial difficulty.
Training and Education Centre of Indian Veterinary Research Institute at Pune with the mandate of extension and training has an important and pivotal role in capacity building by arranging appropriate programmes for farmers, extension functionaries and various stakeholders, including Government officials. Latest technology and research backup of IVRI is helping to reorient officers of AHD, KVKs, NGOs and ATMAs of the region. The centre has become an important linkage point between the regional institutions and ICAR/Central institutes of Animal Science.
In a short span of about five years of its existence, the Centre has made its presence felt in the region by conducting various activities such as interface meets with State Animal Husbandry Departments of the Western region, interface meets with industry, specialized and advanced training courses for veterinary officers, workshops on important issues, training programmes for tribal farmers for their livelihood improvement, farmers’ meets, animal health camps (especially in drought affected and tribal areas), livelihood security programme for tribal and SC farmers through goat and backyard poultry farming, field validation and transfer of IVRI technologies, etc. These activities are immensely benefitting farmers, veterinary officers and other stakeholders in livestock sector of the region.