It will reduce J&K’s import bill on mutton: DDC member Minha Lateef
Pampore: District Sheep Husbandry Pulwama organised a daylong training-cum-capacity building programme on “Promotion of wool and pelt for effective processing and marketing ” Under the Holistic Agriculture Development Programme at Town Hall Pampore area of south Kashmir’s Pulwama district on Saturday.
Around 130 sheep farmers, Self-Help Groups (SHGs) and Farmer Producer Organisations (FPOs) were imparted training regarding the value addition of wool/pelt and subsequent employment generation and better returns to sheep farmers, officials told Kashmir Reader.
Speaking on the occasion, District Sheep Husbandry Officer Pulwama- Dr Mohammad Ashraf stressed upon the unemployed youth to harness the potential of the small ruminant sector with regard to gainful employment opportunities available in this sector. He stressed the need for value addition like wool processing and mutton processing so that sheep farmers get more income returns besides increased employment.
DDC member Adv Minha Lateef urged the sheep farmers to take up sheep farming on a commercial scale so as to reduce the import bill of Jammu and Kashmir on mutton as Kashmir valley offers a doorstep market for mutton and mutton-based products.
While lauding the efforts of the department in providing employment avenues by means of sheep units/ machine sheep shearing plants, she strongly recommended exponential growth of sheep farms sponsored by sheep husbandry in the private sector so that we would be able to bridge the gap between demand and production of mutton.
Experts from departments like District Hub for Employment of Women Pulwama, JKEDI, SKUAST-Kashmir, RSETI and J&K Bank attended the programme and briefed the audience about the schemes available to them.
The District Hub for Empowerment of Women Pulwama briefed the participants regarding different pension schemes, entrepreneurship development programmes, and skill development courses provided by different departments. DHEW also distributed brochures and shared the contact details and address of DHEW Pulwama in order to help general people approach the office anytime.
Taking to Kashmir Reader, Adv Minah said that the programme is part of a Holistic Agriculture Development Awareness Programme (HADP). In this programme, Sheep Husbandry Pulwama organised an awareness programme where they discussed various schemes that are sponsored by the Central government.
“In the National Livestock scheme, they provide a subsidy of 15 lakh rupees to sheep breeders, out of which 500 are allocated for those participating in this programme. They provide these subsidies to farmers facing challenges in this awareness camp. These challenges include grazing land issues, and the farmers are unable to get the necessary feed for their livestock,” she said.
The DDC member mentioned that if there are any issues, she will work with the department and the Deputy Commissioner to address the challenges in grazing lands, ensuring the development of sheep production.
She said that there would be no construction on grazing lands, as they are essential for sheep production. If anyone has any problems, they can contact her for assistance. She will be available to help.
District Sheep Husbandry Officer Pulwama Dr Mohammad Ashraf said, “Today, we had a one-day workshop, a training programme for sheep breeders who came from the Pampore block. In this programme, we provided awareness about the new schemes, particularly the Wool Muttan production scheme, and how to enhance it. We discussed the latest developments and schemes under the Holistic Agriculture Development Programme.”
Many issues were raised during the programme, such as the need for better-quality rams for breeding, the provision of feed for them, and addressing sheep diseases,” Dr Ashrad said, adding, “We discussed in detail with all the sheep farmers present on how to detect and manage these issues.”