Committed to increase green pastures for progressive sheep breeding: Govt

Committed to increase green pastures for progressive sheep breeding: Govt
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‘Opt for sheep farming as viable source for employment avenues’

BUDGAM: Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries, Abdul Ghani Kohlion Saturday said that the government was committed to turn barren land into pastures for creating more grazing fields for progressive sheep breeding in Kashmir.
The minister made these remarks, after inaugurating a ‘Kisan Mela’ organised by District Sheep Husbandry Department, Budgam at Sheikh-ul-Alam Hall in Budgam.
Minister of State for PHE, Irrigation & Flood Control, Animal, Sheep Husbandry, Fisheries, Forest and Cooperatives Mir Zahoor Ahmad was also present on the occasion.
The minister lamented on the decreasing graph of grazing land which he termed as ‘one of the reasons for slow growth of sheep population in the Valley’, an official handout read.
He said that all efforts were being taken to turn barren land into the grazing land by growing grass on it for sheep breeders.
“Growing grass on the barren land would help in curbing the dearth of feeding resources for the breeders particularly during winters,” he said.
The minister said that the prevailing situation in Kashmir had also affected the sheep population as grazing of sheep in deep jungles had become difficult for the villagers.
He said, “With the help of new technologies, grass would be also grown in areas which are hit with dearth of water or due to dry weather.”
The minister also said that the Valley has been successful in producing 80 different breeds of sheep and has distinction of producing the best wool in India. “With the help of cross breeding techniques, the department has been successful in producing quality sheep,” he added.
MoS Mir Zahoor in his speech deliberated on various state and GoI sponsored schemes launched for the promotion of sheep breeding sector in the state.
He said that the sector had huge potential to sustain economy and stressed on youth to “opt for sheep farming as viable source for creating employment avenues” for themselves and others in the Valley.
He said that J&K was huge market not only for mutton consumption but also the best place for sheep farming for its rich green topography. “Besides, government has also started training programmes and providing loans through various banks to the educated youth, who can avail all such facilities to start sheep farming in the state,” he said.
District Development Commissioner Budgam, Mohammad Harun Malik, Director Sheep Husbandry Dr Mohammad Ramzan also spoke on the occasion and urged educated youth to start sheep farming instead of running after government jobs for their better progress and economic sustenance.
District Sheep Husbandry officer while deliberating on the achievements of the department in the district in past many years, said that the population of sheep as well as farmers was increasing with support of the department.
The department also conducted a livestock show and provided daylong training to scores of sheep breeders who attended the function.
District Sheep Husbandry Office Budgam also distributed prizes among the breeders for their unique breed farming in the district, it added.