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CS reviews functioning of Animal, Sheep Husbandry & Fisheries Dept

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Directs establishment of market linkages for trout export

JAMMU: The Chief Secretary, Dr. Arun Kumar Mehta, reviewed the functioning of the Animal, Sheep Husbandry & Fisheries Department, and achievements under major schemes in the sector.

The Principal Secretary, Animal Sheep Husbandry & Fisheries Department, concerned Directors, and other senior officers of the Department attended the meeting.

During the meeting, various sectors including dairy, poultry, and the schemes pertaining to the Department were reviewed in detail. It was informed that the Union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has achieved significant progress in milk and meat production during the financial year 2020-21 and a total of 2594.49 thousand MT of milk, 88.94 thousand MT of meat, and 1743.30 thousand MT of egg production has been achieved.

It was noted that to meet the local demands, massive imports of meat, poultry, and eggs are currently required, and as such, the Chief Secretary asked the Department to explore more avenues to boost the local production. Dr. Mehta observed that a huge potential still exists to further enhance income and livelihood in the Union territory to the extent of approximately Rs1500 crore over the next 3 years.

The Chief Secretary further observed that the combined initiatives towards enhancement of qualitative production of apple, cash crops, poultry, fodder, and meat have the potential of adding around Rs 5000 crore to the economy in the medium term.

Under the Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS) about 2000 people were engaged in 1000 new units and the figure is expected to go up to 6000. Besides, the IDDS has been able to turn around the milk production scenario in the Union territory, resulting in an increase in yearly milk production from 18 thousand MT in 2019-20 to 140 thousand MT in 2021-22.

Under the initiatives to control diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease (FMD) and Brucellosis in livestock, the Department is vaccinating all animals in a mission mode under the National Animal Disease Control Programme (NADCP-II) with a target to eradicate the two diseases by 2030. It was informed that this year there has been no reported outbreak of these diseases so far.

Appreciating the organizing Pashu Mandi at Lakhanpur which has helped the local farmers to buy premium quality cattle in the UT from sellers of neighbouring states like Punjab and Haryana, the Chief Secretary asked the Department to make it a regular feature and also explore the possibility of organizing such fares in other areas of the Union territory, adding that it would not only work in the advantage of the local farmer but will also boost the dairy economy. The Chief Secretary was also apprised about the establishment of a cluster of dairy units in Block Nagri in Kathua District.

With regard to the Sheep Husbandry sector, it was informed that the Integrated Sheep Development Scheme launched in 2020 has been a big success. Till date, 2284 sheep goat units have been established & 693 more will be established by the end of this financial year, creating direct employment for 5954 people and incrementing mutton production by around 12 lac Kgs.

With regard to exotic pure blood Merino sheep, it was informed that the stock is being replenished at Daksum. These rams are being used for the up-gradation of Departmental livestock initially and later will be distributed in the field.

During the review of the fisheries sector, the Chief Secretary was informed that fish production, which was 21,100 MT till 31st March 2020 is anticipated to increase by 25% by 31st March 2022, while as trout production alone is anticipated to increase by 156% by the same time.

The Department also briefed the meeting with regard to the establishment of a fish market at Jammu that would provide for a hygienic environment for sale of fish.

The Chief Secretary observed that market linkages will have to be provided for export of trout fish considering significant enhancement in trout breeding/production and asked the Department to be a facilitator and encourage private players to be a part of the initiative.

The Chief Secretary also emphasized initiatives under convergence and asked the Department to look for programmes that could be undertaken with related departments like Agriculture Production, Horticulture, Forest, and RDD.

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