The government of Jammu and Kashmir is giving a lot of importance to the livestock sector in order to provide crucial push to the rural economy.
The government is committed to provide all necessary support to farmers to ensure the success of this initiative. It is working closely with various stakeholders, including agricultural universities, research institutes, and industry experts to achieve this goal.
Livestock rearing in Jammu and Kashmir incurs a significant cost, with 75 per cent of the input cost attributed to feed and fodder. The region is home to a diverse range of animals including 31.45 lakh bovines, 45 lakh sheep and goats, 73 lakh backyard poultry birds and 2 lakh other animal species. Additionally, around 5 crore commercial broiler birds are being reared in the region. The annual requirement for green fodder in Jammu and Kashmir is approximately 139 lakh metric tons, while the dry fodder requirement is around 58.53 lakh metric tons. Unfortunately, the availability of green and dry fodder is insufficient to meet the demand. In particular, there is a deficit of 40.93 per cent in fodder availability in the region, with a higher deficit of 48.63 per cent in the Kashmir division compared to 32.27 per cent in the Jammu division. Only 4 per cent of the total cultivable land is under fodder production at present. Each year, Jammu and Kashmir imports a significant amount of animal feed with 9,000 metric tons of feed, 10,000 metric tons of green fodder and 5,000 metric tons of dry fodder being imported. This results in a substantial loss to the exchequer. However, with the implementation of the Holistic Agriculture Development Program, the region can potentially create better livelihood opportunities for farmers, improving the socio-economic conditions of the people.