Staff Reporter

Research to be taken up on infectious diseases, biotechnology

TIRUCHI: The Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) will sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Virginia Tech University, Maryland, United States, to take up research programmes.

Stating this while addressing presspersons here on Thursday, Vice-Chancellor N. Balaraman said research would be taken up on infectious animal diseases and animal biotechnology.

The Virginia Tech University was impressed over TANUVAS efforts in containing the bluetongue disease and the MoU would form part of the Indo-U.S. Knowledge Initiation programme.

The university had signed an MoU with the Michigan State University and research was in progress.

"Apart from the regular research programmes, the MoU with this university also facilitates exchange of administration and management techniques," he said.

Certificate courses

Dr. Balaraman said the university would start two certificate courses on `Artificial Insemination' (AI) and `Laboratory Technician' for students with a pass in SSLC and graduates respectively.

While the first one would be a two-month course, Laboratory Technicians would undergo training for one year.

Agro-forestry scheme

He said the `Agro-forestry scheme' being implemented by the university on 500 hectares in 40 villages in Perambalur district helped to achieve the objective of preparing saline fields for effective horticultural development.

The programme, implemented on a trial basis at an outlay of Rs.74.55 lakh sanctioned by the Union Ministry of Rural Development, had benefited 202 villagers in generating assured income.

"With a view to ensuring sustainability, the programme was implemented with a sum of Rs. 14.40 lakh contributed by the beneficiaries," Dr. Balaraman added.

The TANUVAS-sponsored programme for ensuring alternative livelihood for the tsunami-hit fishermen of Keezhavanju Pattinacheri near Karaikal, Pazhaiyar near Nagapattinam and Sadurangapattinam near Kalpakkam had benefited 200 fishermen who had started rearing goats and sheep.

Appeal to farmers

Earlier, addressing the district resource-persons for livestock development at a meeting, Dr. Balaraman appealed to motivate farmers to take to livestock development as an alternate viable occupation.

He specifically asked them to form cooperative units, so that the university and other institutions could take up research and extension activities in the farms.