For past some days we have seen an enhanced talk in the local media about the importance of sheep husbandry to Kashmir’s economy. While it is true that Kashmir has been an agrarian economy and activities like sheep husbandry, poultry, and orchid raising, all fall in the vicinity of the agricultural economy, if not the very ingredients of it. But there has been less emphasis on taking up these activities at a professional scale and fuse it with industrial sector.
Also fine tune it to the level that it generates employment in numbers, hence contributing to the tertiary sector also. One more common mistake that is committed in case of understanding the Kashmir’s economic landscape is an over emphasis on activities like tourism.
While it is true that tourism, if allowed to grow to its potential can change the skyline of Kashmir’s livelihood patterns, but looking at Kashmir as just a tourist place makes us draw wrong conclusions. In all this two important segments of our economy get ignored.
One, handicrafts, and two, sheep husbandry. Though handicrafts is talked about more frequently, and as an extended connect to tourism, it is part of public and media talk; sheep husbandry receives much less emphasis. Fact of the matter is that we need to look at these activities as two independent sectors of economy, that need attention.
If that happens, and some initial, yet significant, results appear on ground, it will change the ways we think about our economy. A superficial look at meat consumption in Kashmir tells us that it is a deep economy, and we don’t exploit even a fraction of it.
Most of our requirement is met by simply importing the animal from outside. If we can tap the potential and ensure that we can produce most if it here, if not all, it will result in an economic turnaround.
Not only that it will save us money that goes into buying the product. It will also generate a dozen more economic activities that would engage people in good numbers.
So some people, in collaboration with the concerned departments, can think of some big initiatives in this sector and lead by example.