JUMMA: A 112 Kg cross bred ram

It really tells the story of a Silent Revolution

Mass Economy

ZAHOOR KHANDAY

Some great things are happening around us although we may fail to take sufficient notice of them. Silent revolutions. Grand revolutions. They announce themselves though there might be some who refuse to see them. One such revolution has been development of sheep sector through the Department of Sheep Husbandry. One marker of this revolution is recent sale of a good number of elite animals including 1.12 Quintal Jumma which was a cross bred ram. This could not have been imagined by Kashmiris few decades back. What effort and dedication and how much pain has gone into bringing forth a scenario where a ram can be sold  for  upto 30000-50000 and possession of only a few such animals enough to sustain a livelihood can only be imagined by accompanying sheep breeders or Chopans or bakerwaals into the highland pastures, in the dark smoky stone houses, facing the music of jungle weather with little defence. We all invite armchair thinkers and writers to visit with the officials of Sheep Husbandry Department from door to door (something that only beggars can afford to do in our society) and spend a festival like Eid  with livestock in bahaks and then comment. Sheep Husbandry has been on its march forward to cater to almost half of the abnormally huge consumer demand. If we compare salary and staff position with most other govt departments sheep husbandry will emerge amongst the top few most productive, most economizing and most underestimated and most underfunded departments. 
We hardly need to argue about our contibution. It is there proclaiming itself in the form of large handsome animals seen in qurbani mandis or livestock shows. We have crossed big milestones and are ready for bigger challenges if cooperated and trusted. Ours is a livestock centric economy though few planners seem to notice it. We can’t be compared to other States. It is wrong to judgev us from the standards of Australia or Newzeland where huge areas or range pastures have been developed by active govt. support and not encroached upon and where two persons can raise  a thousand sheep. The State is funding the Department/Industry  so liberally that it looks like PWD of Kashmir.
It is a Srinagarite namely John Mohd Mir R/O Pandrethan Srinagar who was the owner of ‘Jumma’ the century crossed cross-bred Ram sold on eve of Eid-Ul-Duha. This srinagarite runs a sheep farm having elite livestock with present capacity of 85 animals while a good number of such animals (Male animals) had been sold on the said festival.
This man of course got him in highlights but does it mean these centurion owners are nowhere else, of course not. A simple answer from anybody asked, certainly would be that if a Ram of an owner from
Srinagar bears such a weight, then those at far flung areas near pastures would definitely be amazing.
Before comparing Sheep Husbandry Department  with departments in the developed world  please have a look on the human population of those countries, the population density of those countries, the enormous area under pastures there, the  suitable climatic conditions prevailing  in  those countries, the short lived winters prevailing there, if not please go through that. Compare it with neighboring states too is erroneous.
The maximum percentage of the people consume pulses and vegetable. They are only producing and rearing the sheep for income generation not for their own consumption. The critics, when on higher forums speak about growing demand of mutton and non-catering of this by our own state, just forget about their words after taking meals on the said occasions with varieteis starting from Methi followed by kababs, Rista, Roganjosh, Tabakmaaz, Korma, with the favorite Yakhni.
If the State tackles the burning problems of this sector like defeceincy of staff, medecine-purchase policy, defunct feeding centers, primitive infrastructure, availability of fully equiped ambulatory clinical van at every block, ban the encroachment of pastures, - to list only a handful – we can scale new heights. We have a great record of controlling major outbreaks from quite some time and thus saving billions of rupees for the State exchequer. Without good infrastructure we have delivered and our farmers acroos nook and corner of valley are living witnesses to all this.  There are so many separate directorates in agriculture department when even their collective contribution to GDP is less than that of livestock sector. Disinvestment policy is against the poor farmer. Sheep Husbandry needs more centers, more facilities, more attention and budgetry help. I wonder why we see only dark spots in the otherwise shining white picture.  
Feedback at zhrkhanday27@gmail.com

Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Mon, 19 Nov 2012 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Tue, 20 Nov 2012 00:00:00 IST




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