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Govt finalizes livestock breeding policy

JAMMU, DEC 23: The Department of Animal, Sheep and Fisheries on Sunday finalized the livestock breeding policy in the state which s first of its kind in the sector in J&K.

The policy was finalized after a meeting of officers chaired by Principal Secretary Animal, Sheep and fisheries department Dr Asghar Hassan Samoon.

The Policy aims to support the existing low input production systems for improving productivity and income so as to improve socio-economic status of a vast majority of our livestock producers and to support research and development initiatives in livestock sector for improving production and productivity, bio-security and profitability in the sector.

Director Extension SKUAST-J Dr Tasleem Ahmed Shamas Ganai was chairman of the committee that drafted the policy while Director Sheep Husbandry Kashmir, Director Sheep Husbandry Jammu, Director Animal Husbandry Jammu, Director Animal Husbandry Kashmir,  Dr. Nazir Ahmed Ganai Head of the Department, Animal Breeding & Genetics SKUAST-Jammu, Dean Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry, SKUAST- J, Dr. K.S. Risam, Director Extension, SKUAST-Jammu, Chief Executive Officer Livestock Development Board Kashmir, Chief Executive Officer Livestock Development Board Jammu were members of the committee.

On the occasion, Samoon said the initiative aims to increase livestock productivity and production in a sustainable manner while protecting the environment, preserving animal bio-diversity, ensuring bio-diversity and farmers livelihood.

According to the policy, the exotic inheritance of both the breeds shall be restricted maximum to 75% only in temperate areas of the state and 50 % for plains of subtropical areas of Jammu.

Policy also states that stress shall be made for selection of quality 50 to 75% bred bulls of local and exotic inheritance for stabilization of desired level of inheritances. “To realize it Open Nucleus Breeding System (ONBS) shall be established for all regions of the state,” it reads.

The policy also recommended experimentation on the adaptability and production related performance of French breed Mt Billiarde and Swiss breed Braunvieh as pure breeds as well as in combination with local germplasm in hilly and small valleys of Jammu and Kashmir.

The policy also stresses on giving preference to sexed semen to manage the cattle population in a better and organized way. Regarding the breeding policy for buffalo , the policy calls for up-gradation of the local Buffalo population using frozen semen of the selected sires of Murrah through Artificial Insemination/natural mating as per feasibility.

Stating that there is need of policy shift from apparel woolly sheep rearing to mutton attribute sheep,  emphasis will be given on production of mutton and at the same time gains achieved in fine wool so far be taken care of by appropriate selection and breeding methods to evolve a dual purpose( wool and mutton) breed for the state. “The Sheep Breeding policy in vogue in Jammu and Kashmir is one recommended by National Commission on Agriculture (1976) for Northern temperate region wherein northern temperate area of the state were ear marked for the fine/ apparel wool production. However, with the globalization, the wool from international market is available at cheaper rates and the remuneration from wool is not profitable, ” it reads, “However, demand for the mutton is increasing with time and to meet it about 15 lac small ruminants are imported into the state annually.”

Regarding the breeding policy with focus on sheep in Kashmir division, it asks for Stabilization of inheritance level (75% merinos 25% local) by selective breeding with stress on growth, fecundity and dressing percentage attributes. The gains obtained in fine wool shall be maintained (at least 23 micron fiber diameter). The developed Kashmir Merino  shall be completely documented and registered as a separate breed.