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We aim to increase livestock productivity and production in sustainable manner: LG

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Pledges scheme for social security for sheep breeders; insurance cover, disease prevention and control measures for livestock

Srinagar: Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha on Saturday said his administration aims to sustainably increase livestock production and focus on the untapped potential of exports and value-added products.

Addressing the demands and issues of the tribal community, the LG announced that the UT government will build 1,000 sheds for livestock of the tribal community.

Inaugurating a workshop on ‘New Horizons in Sheep & Goat Husbandry among Tribal Community: Challenges & Opportunities’ here, he said the Tribal Affairs Department will extend financial assistance of Rs one lakh each to 1,500 Self Help Groups for wool shearing machines and skilling.

As many as 50 Self Help Groups will receive Rs 3 lakh each for genset and solar power-based shearing machines, he said.

According to an official press release, sharing the government’s plan for bringing out a scheme for social security for sheep-breeders and providing insurance cover to the livestock, he said a comprehensive policy will also be prepared for health cards and monitoring of health for disease prevention and control measures.

“Our aim is to increase livestock productivity and production in a sustainable manner and focus on untapped potential for the export and value-added products,” he said.

The LG also highlighted the reforms introduced by the government for modernisation and promotion of the sheep farming sector and strengthening of commercial activities and output of the sector which provides the means of livelihood to about 12 lakh families in the UT.

He said J&K holds the distinction of having the highest per capita consumption of sheep and goat meat in the country and therefore to meet this huge demand the state imports around 40 percent of its requirements from other states.

The UT government has partnered with New Zealand to develop a model sheep farming system through better breeding practices, technology transfer, doubling wool and meat production, marketing, capacity building and ensuring additional income for sheep-breeders, the LG said.

J&K is also the second largest producer of wool in the country and number one in terms of quality of wool produced, the LG said, adding Common Facilitation Centres – one each in Kashmir and Jammu division will be established for the collection, grading, sorting and packaging of wool.

Further, a top-level apex committee under the chairmanship of Mangala Rai, has been constituted for holistic development of agriculture and allied sector.

The committee has started deliberations and is on a job to present a futuristic roadmap in the next three months for inclusive growth, value addition, marketing strategies and sustainable production of the sector, he added.

On the occasion, the LG also congratulated the J&K Advisory Board for Development of Kisans and UT’s Sheep Husbandry Department for organizing the important workshop to explore new opportunities, and identifying necessary interventions to make the Sheep & Goat Husbandry sector more lucrative for the stakeholders.

The outcomes from today’s brainstorming session of agricultural scientists, experts and tribal community members will be assessed objectively and incorporated in government policies to be implemented on the ground for benefit of all the stakeholders, he said.

Rajeev Rai Bhatnagar, Advisor to LG said that the UT administration is committed for the holistic development of the tribal community of Jammu & Kashmir. The administration is taking revolutionary reforms and various welfare measures for improving the standard of living of the members of the tribal community, he added.

Atal Dulloo, Additional Chief Secretary, Agriculture Production Department, talked about the future goals of the department for promoting sheep rearing sector, encouraging export and marketing, and increasing the wool production. He said every possibility is being explored for tapping the vast potential of this sector.

Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST Kashmir, speaking on the occasion remembered Padma Shri Dr. Ghulam Ahmed Bandey for his valuable contribution in the sector of sheep and animal husbandry in Jammu Kashmir.

He also briefed on the development of foot-rot vaccine by the SKUAST Kashmir. The VC further shared details of various other programs, research activities being conducted in the University for developing vaccines, and policies for wool processing.

Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department highlighted schemes and programmes formulated for the welfare of the tribal population by the UT administration in the last two years. He further informed that the 865 Tribal Asha posts have been sanctioned by the central government last month.

Bashir Ahmad Khan, Director Sheep Husbandry Kashmir highlighted the achievements, services and schemes of sheep husbandry. 446 sheep extension centres are functional across the UT for facilitating the sheep and goat breeders, he informed.

Abdul Hamid Wani, Secretary J&K Kisan Board gave a detailed introduction about the workshop.

A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between SKUAST Kashmir and Department of Sheep Husbandry for Foot-rot vaccine to mitigate the suffering of animals and owners of the livestock.

Progressive farmers and entrepreneurs also shared their success stories. Ch Mohammad, Member of J&K Kisan Board expressed gratitude to the administration for implementing farmers-centric progressive policies.

A detailed presentation was given on the evolution of sheep husbandry in Kashmir. Documentary on tribal people and seasonal migrating nomadic population associated with sheep and goat rearing was also shown.

The LG inspected stalls installed by various stakeholders and also released various publications including “Sheep breeders’ diary” and “Sheep breeders’ Manual” on the occasion.

CGPWA J&K calls on LG

A delegation of Central Government Pensioners’ Welfare Association (CGPWA), J&K called on Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha at Raj Bhavan here.

The delegation comprising Mohammad Shafi Pandit, president CGPWA J&K, Abdul Salam Bajad, Showkat Malik, G.H. Kango, G.M. Wani, Sayed Humayun Qaisar and Khurshid Ahmed Ganai apprised the LG about various issues and demands of central government pensioners of Jammu Kashmir, an official press release said.

It said the demands and issues put forth included setting up of Assisted Housing Colonies for senior citizens under PPP mode; extending cashless treatment facilities, setting up separate counters for CGHS for the pensioners in various tertiary hospitals; setting up Day Care Centre for the pensioners, adjacent to Wellness Centre Srinagar, besides allotment of accommodation at government rates for CGPWA and preference in accessing facilities at public utilities.

The LG assured the delegation to look into their genuine issues and demands on merit.

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