Kashmir Indepth

JK continue to become more dependent on imports


Srinagar, Apr 27 (KINS): In a major concern, the livestock population has been declining in Jammu and Kashmir.

According to official document in possession of news agency KINS, the livestock population is dipping 3.4 fall from 18th livestock census.

“Imports into the state are increasing more than Rs 2500 crore annually and fodder is acutely scarce,” it says.

“Inadequate availability of feed and fodder, insufficient breeding coverage, low conception rates, non-availability of quality breeds, poor management practices, high mortality and morbidity losses due to diseases, inadequate infrastructure/ manpower and unorganized marketing are the other major concerns,” it reads.

It has pointed out that fodder scarcity, unorganized practices, smallholdings, disoriented pricing mechanisms, diminishing economic returns and ineffective regulatory mechanisms have further added to “woes” of the sector.

Similarly, it says there is a requirement of 12 kg of poultry per person annually but the JK faces a deficiency of 52 percent.

Human population of JK comprises of 1 percent of India’s population whereas livestock population of Jammu and Kashmir constitutes 1.79 percent of the country’s livestock population (512 million).

An official said that activities in this sector need to be scaled up to the maximum.

“However, due to high cost of egg production under intensive poultry rearing (layers) in temperate zones, dependence on import of feed ingredients, and higher cost for providing controlled farm conditions for egg production-development a region pacific dual purpose bird for backyard poultry sector merits considerations,” he added.

JK holds 77.14 of country’s yak population, 20 percent of equine population and 5.21 percent of sheep population. The state stands first in Yak population, second in equines, fifth in sheep, six in donkeys, and 17th in poultry.

“Despite leading in numbers, the indicators emanating out of our livestock sector are a cause of worry. The engagement of people in this sector finally seems to have relegated to habits rather than robust economic activity,” he said.

He said that Jammu and Kashmir shall employ Jersey and Holstein Friesian breeds for grading and cross breeding of cattle.

“The cross breeding with Jersey, Holstein Friesian shall be restricted in plain and irrigated areas and peri-urban areas  while as only Jersey Germplasm shall be used for cross breeding/grading up in semi hilly and hilly areas,” he suggested.

To make JK less dependent on imports, he suggested that the cross breeding of local sheep shall be initiated in the uncovered areas.

He has also stressed for increasing the production of two goat breeds-Changra and Bakerwali.

Further he has suggested that breeding of Pashmina goats shall be taken up in traditional areas of Leh district.(KINS)

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