Krishi Vigyan Kendra Anjaw develops Salt and mineral licking block (SMLB) technology for Mithun
ITANAGAR: Salt and mineral licking block (SMLB) technology for mithun is developed by subject matter specialist (SMS), Animal Science of Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Anjaw district of Arunachal Pradesh to attract mithun and assemble them in a particular location.
The technology is based on drudgery reduction in traditional method of Mithun production system, thereby mitigating the time spent by mithun owner in spotting their animals in jungle, an official report said here today.
Mithun being the most important livestock amongst the Mishmi tribe because of multifaceted uses such as payment of bridal price, as a sacred animal for rituals scarification, dispute settlement, last rite animal to honour the departed soul to rest in peace and highest face value in traditional barter table (Rs 60,000- 70,000 per adult mithun).
Mithun are reared under semi-domesticated systems; they let loose to roam in jungle freely. However, owner has to visit in jungle frequently twice or thrice a month to monitor the presence of their Mithun in jungle.
Monitoring mithun in jungle is one of the most tedious and tired some jobs in entire mithun husbandry system, due to which till date women and children cannot involve in Mithun husbandry. It has been observed that only salt is the only component used as a barter of instrument to keep in touch with mithun and owner. It is normally practiced that once mithun are spotted in jungle, owners have to feed handful of salt and mithun have very high affinity towards licking salt.
Considering salt as a cornerstone in the traditional method of mithun production system to attract mithun, the Salt & Mineral licking block (SMLB) concept was developed based on drudgery reduction in the traditional method of mithun production system, thereby establishing a permanent structure of SMLB at certain strategic location, so that mithun could come to lick the block and monitoring workload of owners are mitigated.
Because once the mithun is sensitized for the presence of salt in SMLB, they will regularly visit the spot. Therefore, Mithun owner have to visit in SMLB spot to find their mithun and even women and children can take part in mithun husbandry by regularly visiting at SMLB spot.
As a result, there is drudgery reduction in tracking mithun in jungle, thereby facilitating easy method of monitoring during entire mithun production system under free-range system of domestication, without much changing their traditional system of mithun productions.
Salt and mineral licking block (SMLB) is a permanent concrete structure, composed of two layers, base and apex: The base part of SMLB, 2 ft above the ground level are composed of sand, cement and stone gravels in 4:1:2 ratio respectively. The apex parts of SMLB, 0.4 ft (4.8" inch) are composed of salt, mineral mixture, cement and fine sand in 1:0.05:1:4 ratios respectively, the report added.