BANDIPORA: Minister of State for Forest, Environment, Animal & Sheep Husbandry, Fisheries and Cooperatives, Mir Zahoor Ahmad Saturday said J&K has huge potential of setting up world class sheep rearing farms with institutional support and involvement of private players in the State.
Inaugurating a private sheep farm at Paanar village in district Bandipora, the Minister said setting-up of sheep rearing farms would go a long way in meeting the mutton requirements in the Valley, besides generating employment opportunities for the unemployed youth, especially in rural areas.
He also underscored the need for adopting long term and short term measures for giving boost to the sector.
Taking stock of the activities of the Sheep Husbandry department in Bandipora, the Minister was apprised that there are 1.98 lakh sheep and 51000 goats in the district while 3.61 lakh kgs of wool and 12.82 lakh kgs mutton are produced by the department. He was also informed that 97,000 sheep were treated, 5.49 lakh sheep were dozed, 1.71 lakh were vaccinated, 3.05 lakh dippings conducted and 185 Ram distributed among the farmers during 2016-17.
It was also informed that 25 ewes of two units under RKVY, 50 ewes of two units under State Sector and 10 ewes of two units under Backyard Units were established in the district.
Taking stock of the Animal Husbandry Department, the Chief Animal Husbandry Officer, Bandipora informed the Minister that under Rural Backyard Poultry Scheme, 1.10 Lakh poultry was distributed among farmers on subsidized rates. He also informed that there is 93000 tonnes milk production in district Bandipora which exceeds target of 90,000 tonnes.
Interacting with the people of the area who had assembled on the occasion, Mir Zahoor said the Government is making all out efforts to boost the production of sheep husbandry sector. He said the state spends crores of rupees for exporting mutton from other states. He said by involving youth towards this sector, it will also create tremendous income in the State.
Congratulating the Unit holder Asif Khan for establishing sheep farm, Mir Zahoor assured him that every possible help would be provided to him by the Government. He directed the Director Sheep to provide all logistic support including breeding cover and health cover to the entrepreneur.
The Minister said that Model Cluster Village and Milk Village would be established in district Bandipora during the current year for which funds will be released soon. He said that on-line poultry market will be opened soon for sale of birds facilitated by the Animal Husbandry Department.
A team of Senior Officers of Animal, Sheep Husbandry, Forest, Fisheries and other departments including Director Sheep Husbandry Department Kashmir Dr Mohammad Ramzan Sheikh were accompanying the Minister.
During his tour, several deputations met the Minister and apprised him about their individual and collective problems which include construction of bridge at Paanar- Tangath over Nadmati Nallah, laying of water pipes, issuance of timber, opening of veterinary centres and construction of bunds. The Minister gave them patient hearing and assured that their genuine demands would be looked into. He, however, in some cases, gave on the spot directions to the concerned for immediate redress.