Promoting local industry
The import of sheep from various states and regions to Jammu and Kashmir is always making news. For many reasons the sheep imports are growing with every passing day and one of the foremost reason is that majority of the population in Jammu and Kashmir consume meat which increases the imports every year.
Since sheep farming is being practiced in many parts of Kashmir but the industry has failed to achieve the desired results as the imports are still continuing and more so the growth of the sheep farming industry has recorded a stunted movement.
Importantly, there have been least interventions by the past governments in this sector as the growth and development of this sector has itself narrated the sorry state of affairs. The sheep farming industry needs a huge push not only to help it grow on scientific lines but also provide job opportunities to those who are willing to be part of the industry that otherwise holds huge potential.
In this regard the government of J&K signed a Memorandum of Cooperation (MoC) for transforming Sheep Farming Sector. The MoC has been signed between UT of Jammu and Kashmir and New Zealand almost a year back.
The overarching objective of the MoC is to improve farmers’ remuneration, transfer of technology in research and development as well as marketing and value addition of sheep products.
The collaboration in the field of sheep husbandry, capacity building, technology transfer and training will surely go a long way to create a sustainable industry in the sheep rearing sector and will help the youth to seek out new ventures and job prospects.
The new partnership will help at doubling produce in the next three years with substantial increment in quality of livestock products, wool production and introducing processing facilities and value addition to boost income and benefits to Jammu Kashmir.
Though a self sustaining Integrated Sheep Development Program was launched during 2020-21 with an aim to supplement livestock production and build entrepreneurship in the sector, the move has opened new vistas for the youth and the MoC in this regard will help achieve the desired growth trajectory.
Sheep farming holds tremendous potential in both the regions of Jammu and Kashmir. The regions have enough green pastures and open grazing lands besides a conducive atmosphere for ensuring growth and development of this sector.
Besides, the interest of huge chunk of population which includes the nomadic bakerwal community as well will also introduce them to the new and improved potential of the sheep farming trade.