SRINAGAR: In the backdrop of government announcement regarding the establishment of Horticulture University in the state, a meeting of SKUAST-Kashmir Veterinary Scientists Association (SVSA) was convened at the Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry.
According to an official statement, SVSA while welcoming the government announcement reiterated its two decade old demand of establishment of Veterinary and Fisheries University. A brain storming session was held to discuss the overall contribution of animal husbandry sector to the state economy.
The contribution of animal husbandry and fisheries sector to state economy was higher than the horticulture, the only difference being that most of the livestock produce ended up being consumed at domestic level, the press note added.
With predominantly hill and mountain topography, and short growing period, the State of Jammu and Kashmir has more to offer in terms of animal husbandry, it added.
Over the last two decades, scores of veterinary and animal sciences universities have been established across the length and breadth of India. All the existing veterinary universities concentrate on the tropical animal husbandry. Therefore, the Veterinary and Animal Science University of Kashmir would be the only veterinary and fisheries university specializing in cold temperate and cold arid animal husbandry and fisheries.
SVSA while reiterating its demand for establishing veterinary university reminded the government of the promise of Late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, who had announced establishment of veterinary university at Shuhama campus while speaking at the inaugural function of the National Symposium on Sustainable Livestock Production.
A roadmap for carving out a veterinary and fisheries university by reorganizing the existing Veterinary and Fisheries Sciences Teaching Research and Extension infrastructure was discussed threadbare. It was felt that a meager financial implication in terms of providing university governance structure was only required for the new university.
SVSA decided to organize a veterinary and animal science month starting on 1st of August. The 4-week long programme would comprise of seminars, group discussions, societal contact programme, field days, farmers awareness and outreach programmes focusing on participatory dairy development, smart livestock farming, eco-friendly and organic livestock production, bio-resource conservation and bio-energy utilization, zoonoses awareness, public health, bio-security and bio-safety and highlighting potential of livestock and animal husbandry in socio-economic development, employment generation, and overall social empowerment, the press note added.