Suggest measures to develop livestock industry, minimize imports: CM tells vets, scientists
SRINAGAR: Jammu and Kashmir Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today asked the veterinarians and scientists of SKUAST to brainstorm on the status of livestock management in the State and suggest measures by which the dependence on import of mutton and chicken is reduced to achieve self sufficiency.
Inaugurating a symposium on livestock management and production at SKUAST-K here, the Chief Minister wondered that livestock management in the State “could not be developed as an independent sector of economy over the decades and has always been treated as a subsidiary to agriculture and horticulture sectors”. She said, “The sector needs to be developed on modern lines in tune with scientific advancements and given its huge scope in changing the profile of rural economy.”
“Every year the State has to import hundreds of crores of rupees worth mutton and chicken and if appropriated interventions at policy, research and execution are made, this draining out of wealth can be minimized and hundreds of youth can be engaged in gainful employment,” Mehbooba Mufti said.
“Jammu & Kashmir has livestock friendly climate and topography; how these friendly features are factored in to improve livestock production in the State,” the CM asked while seeking suggestions from the scientists and experts at SKUAST.
The Chief Minister said efforts needed to be made collectively by researchers and executors to give the sector a greater acceptability in terms of economic viability, job creations, production scale and ideal conditions in the State for the sector.
She said, “The livestock business is already being practiced by around one-fourth of the State’s population and it contributes around 11% to State’s domestic produce,” terming it the silver lining from where the sector could be expanded, particularly among youth, and promoted. “In this whole, SKUAST has a critical role to play,” the Chief Minister added.
Mehbooba Mufti said the theme of the symposium was very relevant to the emerging demands of the sector. She asked the scientists attending the symposium to “deliberate upon areas like impact of climate change in terms of quality of the produce, fodder and food availability, animal health concerns, value addition in the production, etc. and come up with recommendations to be implemented by the executing agencies.”
In his address, Minister for Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Abdul Ghani Kohli also impressed upon the scientist community “to come up with specific recommendations for giving livestock management in the State a boost.” He said, “Bridge the gap between research and practice in livestock management to achieve optimum results.”
Around 25 scientists, scholars and academicians are attending the symposium in which around 30 research papers on varied aspects of livestock development are expected to be presented.