J&K Govt announces Rs 129.05 Cr initiative to reduce fodder deficit under HADP

Representational Iamge
Representational IamgeFile/ GK

Jammu: The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir, recognizing the potential of livestock husbandry to improve the socio-economic conditions of farming communities and boost the overall economic growth of the region, has launched several measures under the Holistic Agriculture Development Program (HADP).

Jammu and Kashmir, acknowledged for its tremendous agricultural potential and production, comprises of mostly small and fragmented landholdings owned by the farmers. Over 70 per cent of the population in the region depends on agriculture and related vocations for their livelihood, either directly or indirectly.

Over the years, livestock husbandry has emerged as a crucial growth engine for sustainable and equitable development, which is vital for uplifting the socio-economic status of farming communities in J&K.

As per Additional Chief Secretary (ACS), Agriculture Production Department, Atal Dulloo, an Apex committee has devised a comprehensive plan under HADP, which amounts to ₹ 129.05 crore, to mitigate the fodder shortfall in the UT by 80 per cent. The primary objective of this program is to augment the agricultural and livestock sectors and equip farmers with vital resources such as financial assistance, improved seeds and technical guidance to amplify productivity, profitability, and overall economic progress of the area.

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 Holistic Agriculture Development Program, the region can potentially create better livelihood opportunities for farmers, improving the socio-economic conditions of the people.

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