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SMS improves Orissa's livestock service delivery

Tue, 04 Mar 2008 09:52:00
The system has reduced appreciably the gap between the field functionaries and decision makers leading to good governance. The performance of the service providers are reviewed and measures taken for appreciation and improvement.
Bishnupada Sethi
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Livestock kept or produced in smallholder farming systems are an important component of the agricultural economy in the developing world. The role of livestock on smallholder farms varies widely, providing draught power for crop production or as a production activity for subsistence needs.

The Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Department is the major player involved in overall livestock development, where its personnel work round the clock at diverse localities to facilitate livestock services to the public.

 In the realm of such vast activities involving human resource and complex nature of work, it becomes very difficult to monitor & manage.

The functionaries at different levels, viz, district, sub-division, block, village have to work in proper coordination; and information flow among different levels of functionaries must be as fast as possible. The answer to it is access to information in time.

To address this demand of in time information, a very innovative and cost effective solution has been introduced through “SMS based Reporting System” to track Livestock health care and breeding services in Orissa.

The current importance of animal diseases, and their emergence or re-emergence, show that surveillance is crucial for defining suitable control measures.

Surveillance systems rely on networks of different people, whose activities include collecting, transmitting, analyzing and disseminating disease information.

However, an attempt has been made in this regard to gather information on occurrence of various livestock diseases. All the villages and prevalent livestock diseases are codified.

The most important variables related to disease monitoring and breeding services is identified and the software is developed to collect the data from the field every week.

In the changing market environment of livestock products, the delivery of animal health and breeding services are emerging as important priority areas for enhancing the competitiveness of poor livestock producers.

Logistics Management in relation to timely supply of inputs like Liquid Nitrogen, Frozen Semen Straws and other A.I. equipments plays a vital role to ensure breeding service delivery at the community level.

In the present scenario for effective service delivery, the low cost connectivity via SMS has strengthened the MIS of the Veterinary Department.  This has resulted in timely decision making process so as to guarantee effective livestock service delivery for the poor.

 The to and fro messaging system has facilitated to study the prevalence and incidence of various contagious diseases having economic importance in livestock and poultry, which enables faster process and programme implementation.

Implementation Process:

The field AHD staffs at the grass root level, who mostly implement the activities of the department, carry along Cell Phones.

And this device is available to all, hence realizing the potential of its availability and the user acceptance, the development of an application has been done, which uses Cell Phones as its interface to collect data and to provide data.

The most fastest, reliable and cost effective text based means of communication is SMS (Short Messaging Service).

In this system, data related to A.I. done and disease outbreak in each block is being sent by concerned Hqr. VAS at weekly interval on a particular date i.e. Sunday afternoon through SMS.

The Statistics Section of the Directorate compiles all the data and the consolidated MIS report is generated by Monday of every week for critical analysis and suitable remedial measures by the concerned branch.

Effect of SMS based Monitoring System:

The system has reduced appreciably the gap between the field functionaries and decision makers leading to good governance. The performance of the service providers are reviewed and measures taken for appreciation and improvement.

The transparency in the system encourages the field staff to communicate openly and a sense of accountability at different level has been established. The feedback from the field staff through their active participation has empowered them.

In emerging situations like occurrence of Bird Flu in neighbouring State of West Bengal, this system helped immensely in quicker transmission and execution of necessary precautionary measures through instructions from the Head Office to the field. The weekly data are collated centrally to generate the MIS contributing to the central databank.

The basic inputs like vaccine, Frozen Semen Straw, Liquid Nitrogen availability could be ascertained so as to take suitable measures to supply the same immediately, which has assured in regularity in availability of service delivery.


Monitoring of different ongoing AH Programme is essential to identify the constraints in the implementation. Timely knowledge of constraints through SMS based Reporting System has helped the decision making more responsive and equitable.

Though there was some initial resistance at some level, presently various functionaries at different level are able to gain the benefits of receiving information to take timely action.

The system has been internalized both at the field and Directorate level, which enabled good governance and transparency in the organization. The pilot programme is doing well in satisfying the end users to a great extent.

Animal Husbandry & Veterinary Department government of Orissa

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