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Govt committed to increase green pastures for progressive sheep breeding: Kohli

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BUDGAM: Minister for Animal, Sheep Husbandry and Fisheries, Abdul Ghani Kohli Saturday said that the Government is 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’ organized 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.
He said that all efforts are being taken to turn barren land into the grazing land by growing grass on it for sheep breeders.
By growing grass on the barren land would help in curbing the dearth of feeding resources for the breeders particularly during winters.
The Minister said that the prevailing situation in Kashmir has also affected the sheep population as grazing of sheep in deep jungles had become difficult for the villagers.
He said that 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.
Meanwhile, the Minister said that the Valley has been successful in producing 80 different breeds of the sheep and has distinction of producing best wool in the country. He also said that with the help of cross breeding techniques, the department has been successful in producing quality sheep.
MoS Mir Zahoor in his speech deliberated on various state and centrally sponsored schemes launched for the promotion of sheep breeding sector in the state.
He said that the sector has 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 not only J&K was huge market for the mutton consumption but also best place for the sheep farming for its rich green topography. “Besides, government has also started training programmes and provide 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 government jobs for their better progress and economic sustenance.
District Sheep Husbandry officer, in his welcome address 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 were increasing with support of 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.

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