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ICAR Honors Surendra Awana with ‘Breed Conservation Award 2023’ on National Farmers Day

The Rajasthan-based dairy farmer, Surendra Awana, was recognized for his exemplary efforts in conserving the indigenous cow breed known as the 'Gir Cow'.

Ravisha Poddar
ICAR presents Surendra Awana with National Breed Conservation Award 2023
ICAR-National Bureau of Animal Genetics Resources presents Surendra Awana with National Breed Conservation Award 2023

On the occasion of National Farmer's Day, the ICAR-National Bureau of Animal Genetics Resources, Karnal, Haryana, hosted the "Breed Conservation Award 2023" to recognize exemplary contributions in the field of agriculture and animal husbandry.

Amidst the distinguished recipients, agricultural experts, and officials, the event witnessed Surendra Awana, a revered dairy farmer hailing from Rajasthan, being honored with the 'Breed Conservation Award 2023'. Awana's commitment to conserving indigenous cow breeds stood out as a shining example of exemplary agricultural and dairy practices.

The awards were presented by Dr. G.K. Gaur, Deputy Director General, Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), New Delhi, Dr. Gyanendra Singh, Director, ICAR-Indian Institute of Wheat and Barley Research, Karnal, Haryana, Dr. A.K Mohanty, Director, ICAR- Central Institute of Research on Cattle, Meerut and Dr. B.P. Mishra, Director, National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources, Karnal.

Surendra Awana's journey in agriculture and animal husbandry spans over three decades, characterized by unwavering commitment and groundbreaking initiatives. His exceptional contributions were previously acknowledged through nine national and four state-level awards, attesting to his pioneering role in the field.

Some of the accolades include:

  • Gopal Ratna Award 2021 by Ministry of Fisheries, Animal Husbandry and Dairying.
  • IARI-Fellow Farmer Award 2023 by the Indian Agricultural Research Institute
  • Haldhar Organic Award 2019 by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research
  • Farmer Incentive Award 2021 by Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute
  • State Level Animal Husbandry Award 2023, and many more

An integral part of Awana's work revolves around conserving the indigenous Gir cow, a breed that is said to be very hardy and has a high tolerance towards conditions of stress and tropical diseases.

So far, Awana's farm has witnessed the birth of 124 calves along with the cultivation of 24 varieties of green medicinal fodder. His unwavering dedication to the cause has not only impacted his local community but has also garnered significant national recognition.

It is because of Awana's efforts that for the first time, Rajasthan has received the National Level Breed Conservation Award 2023 from the National Bureau of Animal Genetic Resources (NBAGR), Karnal, an organization of ICAR.

Additionally, other farmers from the state clinched five out of eight awards presented by ICAR-NBAGR in animal husbandry this year.

In the sequence, the first prize was given to Shri Surendra Awana, a resident of Dudu district, for the conservation of Gir Cow. The second prize was given to Shri Harshit Singh, a resident of Sikar, for the conservation of the Tharparkar cow. The third prize was given to Shri Devaram, a resident of Barmer, for the conservation of the Marwari breed of goat and in the same sequence, Shri Surendra Kumar, a resident of Nohar, Hanumangarh, was given for the conservation and promotion of Sojat breed of goat.

Surendra Awana's pursuit of preserving indigenous breeds stands as a testament to the role of individual efforts in fostering agricultural sustainability and preserving the country's rich heritage. His visionary initiatives serve as an inspiration for future generations and underscore the crucial link between traditional knowledge and modern agricultural practices.

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