Known as milk bowl of Kashmir, the South Kashmir’s Pulwama district is producing around six lakh liters of Milk per day.
Data obtaining from department of animal husbandry reveal that a total number of 64,500 cows are milk yielding, producing around 5, 76,000 liters of milk on daily basis, out of which around three lakh liters are supplied to Srinagar while rest portion is either locally consumed by people or by local milk plants including Zum Zum, Khyber and Snow Cab.
Though, the number of milk yielding cows has decreased by a number of 9500 but milk production has gone up significantly.
The last two surveys carried out by the department of animal husbandry showed that the number of cows in milk has decreased from 74,000 to 64, 500 from 2007 to 2012.
“The number of breeding cows has decreased but production of milk has increased as yield per cow has increased due to cross-breeding of local species of cows,” said Nazir Ahmad Malik, Chief Animal Husbandry officer Pulwama.
He further said that the department has achieved a conversion rate of 98 percent with more than one lakh and thirteen thousand cows converted into crossbreeds.
“There are only around 2500 of local species in our district,” he said, adding that the thrust of the department is on vertical growth (increasing yield per cow) than on horizontal growth (increase in number of cows).
Officials at animal husbandry said that urbanization of the town and adjoining villages have caused shortage of land for rearing cattle.
“The pastures which were used for grazing cattle have been encroached,” doctors at animal husbandry Pulwama said, adding that lack of pastures and unavailability of subsidized fodder resulted in people turning away from cattle rearing in Pulwama, which is also known as ‘Anand’ of Kashmir as far as production of milk is concerned.