KATHUA, DEC 10: The quest for best quality livestock remains a high priority for J&K’s farming community given the high potential for livestock related products and their value addition in Jammu & Kashmir.
Now J&K administration has started organising Livestock Trade Fair – Pashudhan Vyaapar Mela – to provide One Stop Destination for sale and purchase of quality livestock that will strengthen J&K’s dairy sector. The intent is make available High Yielding Breeds of livestock at the door step of farmers and dispensing with the need for venturing outside J&K in search of quality breeds of animals.
In a first of its kind event in J&K to provide a major fillip to Animal and Sheep Husbandry sector with additional source of income to farmers, J&K administration has devised a plan to provide single platform for all stakeholders besides exploiting full potential of J&K in milk, fodder and mutton production This will cut down imports substantially besides bridging the demand and supply gap in the poultry sector and generating employment by attracting new entrepreneurs as mentioned by LG during the Vishal Pashudhan Vyapar Mela organized at Hiranagar Kathua.
In the beginning, the event was organized on pilot basis at Nagri and Hiranagar in Kathua district which got an overwhelming response from the farming community besides the livestock owners from the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and others.
Kathua alone has witnessed a whopping increase in establishment of IDDS units (each unit comprising 5 animals) from the last year tally of 78 units to 142 units (710 animals) so far in the current financial year with two months remaining. The breakup of IDDS beneficiaries in Kathua district includes 31 units from Nagri, 28 from Barnoti, 26 from Marheen, 20 from Kathua, 11 from Mahanpur, 6 from Basohli, 6 from Keerian Gandyal and 1 from Nagrota Gujjroo and 1 from Hiranagar blocks respectively.
Likewise, farmers of other districts of J&K also availed the opportunities of buying high quality breeds of cow, buffaloes, etc from these Pashudhan Melas which includes purchase of 106 animals by farmers of samba district, 690 from Jammu, 56 from Rajouri, 36 from Reasi, 39 from Udhampur, 43 from Ramban, 84 from Doda, 44 from Poonch, 54 from Srinagar, 47 from Baramulla, 21 from Ganderbal, 20 from Shopian, 70 from Kupwara, 5 from Kulgam, 15 from Budgam, 14 from Bandipora and 21 from Anantnag districts respectively.
This move of J&K administration is aimed at showcasing the high quality breeds of cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats etc and related machinery of state of the art technology pertaining to Animal and Sheep Husbandry sectors. Besides, the provision of facilitating sale/purchase of animals, awareness generation of all government schemes for farmer welfare, health check up of animals, tagging and insurance of animals after sale and purchase are also taken up.
Lakhanpur being the gateway to J&K fits well as the focal point for hosting of Mega Livestock Trade Fair as it is easily accessible, approachable for farmers across J&K who otherwise had to spend a lot of their valuable time and money in search of good quality livestock.
The featured event which is now a monthly affair has become a cynosure of all eyes being the only event of this magnitude offering a great deal of opportunities to the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir.
From being a regular affair, now the Pashudhan Vyapar Mela is going hammers and tongs across the region as it is not only confined to trade of livestock but will also facilitate doubling the income of farmers through adoption of best practices, genetic up-gradation of milch animals, latest technical interventions and proper management of high-quality breeds of milch animals.
Farmers are also benefiting from schemes like Integrated Dairy Development Scheme(IDDS), Integrated Poultry Development Programme (IPDP), Integrated Fodder Development Scheme (IFDS), Integrated Sheep Development Scheme( ISDS) besides provision of free vaccination against the FMDV disease minimizing the associated risks.
Narrating his success story, Progressive farmer Kewal Krishan Khajuria of Block Nagri of Kathua district termed the initiative of the administration as a path breaking step to bring effervescent and ebullient changes in the lives of farmers who are looking forward to explore avenues in the dairy sector. “With the technical know how provided by the team of experts from District Animal Husbandry Office Kathua, I have successfully established a Dairy unit by purchasing 40 animals under IDDS running with the name and style M/s Krishna Kamdhenu Dairy and providing over 3.5 quintals of milk daily to JKMPCL which was founded with the help of Gujarat Dairy Cooperative Amul in 2004 to empower milk producers in the Union Territory of J&K.
Another farmer Sayed Ali Chaudhary from Block Marheen who has established 8 units under IDDS expressed his happiness to get the quality breeds of animals through Pashudhan Vyapar Mela which is providing handsome earning to him. While expressing his gratitude towards the administration, he said “Pashudhan Vyapar Mela is transforming lives of people associated with farming/ agriculture to unprecedented scale”.