Written by Yoko Tsukahara, IGA Board member
The Asian Regional Conference on Goats (ARCG2018) was held at Amity University, Rajasthan, Jaipur, India on Oct. 22-26, 2018. The theme entitled “Current Challenges in Goat Industry and the Strategies to Combat in Asia Region.” A total of 287 researchers, professors, and producers from 14 countries including, Canada, China, Ecuador, France, Hungary, Japan, Mongolia, Spain, and the USA attended the meeting. The scientific program included keynote addresses, expert talks, oral and poster presentations, and brainstorming and valedictory sessions. The participants enjoyed a warm traditional welcome during the technical tour at the Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute which produces and conducts research on pure Sirohi goats, varieties of sheep and rabbit breeds, veterinary medical plants, and so on.
Amity University Rajasthan is a government recognized private university and was established in 2008. It is located 40 km away from the city center of Jaipur with a huge campus area where you may see neem forest, wild blue bulls, squirrels, and other wild animals. The conference hotel was in the International Center for Environment Audit and Sustainable Development (ICED) area where located about 1 km from the Conference Center. The guests enjoyed the wide rooms and breakfast daily. Some of the guests observed grazing goats and cattle led by local people near the hotel during the day. Because of the distances and heat during the day, vehicles were essential from the accommodation to the Conference Center or city center. The organizing committee members were kept busy accommodating all the transportation requests from the guests.
Abstracts of scientific programs and poster presentation consisted of 57 Goat Health Management & Welfare, 23 Nutrition Management and Alternative Feeding Systems, 37 Breeding and Genetics, 16 Production Systems and Climate Change in Asia, 38 Innovation in Reproductive Technology, 20 Socio-Economic, Marketing, and Financial Issues in Asia, and 13 Goat Products. In India, there are 20 registered local goat breeds of meat, milk, hair, and multi-purposes according to the diverse geographic and climate conditions. Health management is one of the biggest concern and interest. Vaccination programs of PPR, goat pox, FMD, enterotoxaemia, hemorrhagic septicemia as well as anthrax and black quarter were encouraged. Other diseases including blue tang and Johne’s diseases also commonly occur. Currently, among these diseases, the most important problem and the biggest challenge is PPR in India.
The IGA Board Meeting was held on October 23rd, the evening of the second day of the conference. Dr. Beth Miller (the president of IGA), five members from the Board of Directors, and two Country Representatives (CRs) from China (Northwest & Inner Mongolia) and Japan were present, while the Executive Director and other Board members attended via Skype. The nominated CR from India, Dr. Mamta Dhawan, was officially approved at the beginning of the meeting, and she also attended. The progress of ICG2020 was announced, and each committee reported their recent activities. There were discussions on new membership categories for individual members and new benefits for Institutional membership. Amity University also proposed a project collaborating with the IGA to enhance extension programs in India. IGA was encouraged by this proposal and in this regard, announced a memorandum of interest. The Board felt that further discussion was necessary to finalize certain details of this proposal and agreed to meet again soon.
There were also entertainment programs, such as gala dinner, networking teas, and a cultural evening. It was very nice to meet and get to know some of the professors and students. Some of the students impressed us with their enthusiasm, interest, knowledge, and dancing skills.
Although there were some miscommunications and disorganized situations, the organizing committee gave their full effort with respects to the Conference and tried their best to accommodate all the requests, conditions, nonstop-speakers, and no-shows. All the attendees were certainly grateful and pleased with the Conference. With this newly created friendship, we look forward to the improvement of goat production in India in the future.
The International Goat Association promotes goat research and development for the benefit of humankind, to alleviate poverty, to promote prosperity and to improve the quality of life.