Srinagar: Mutton production in Kashmir has increased to over 123 lakh kilogram with Baramulla contributing a major chunk to the valley’s total mutton produce.
Data accessed by The Kashmir Monitor reveal that the valley produces 123.49 lakh kilograms of mutton annually.
It is nearly 40 percent of the total mutton production of Jammu and Kashmir. Jammu and Kashmir, which is the largest mutton-consuming union territory produces 320 lakh kgs of mutton per annum.
The two leading districts- Baramulla and Kupwara produce 20.16 lakh kilograms and 15.86 lakh kilograms of mutton, respectively.
The rest of the districts including Srinagar, Anantnag, Shopian, Kulgam, Pulwama, Budgam, Ganderbal, and Bandipora, produce 3.77, 15.71, 8.3, 10.36, 10.37, 13.95, 10.37 and 14.64 lakh kilograms of mutton.
Data also claimed that the population of sheep and goats in the valley has grown to 21.94 lakhs.
Out of 21.94 lakh, 18.52 lakh are sheep, which are presently sufficing the mutton demand in the valley.
Jammu and Kashmir as per the figures ranks sixth in sheep farming at the national level. It holds 4.2 percent of the total sheep population.
Jammu and Kashmir on average consume 500 to 600 lakh kilograms of mutton annually. Of which local production is about 300 lakh kilograms. The rest of the mutton is being imported from neighboring states.
Jammu and Kashmir government this year has launched a Rs 329.50 crore scheme to boost sheep farming and cut down mutton imports.
Under the Integrated Sheep Development Program, the government targets to supplement mutton production and build entrepreneurship in the sector.
Officials said that new mutton-producing breeds of sheep have been introduced in the valley to meet the mutton demand.
“It may take some years but the mission is to become India’s one of the leading mutton-producing states/UTs. The administration has set the target to establish at least 2000 commercial sheep farms in the union territory in the next five years. A new concept of horizontal expansion is introduced with the setting up of commercial farms,” he said.
Pertinently, new breeds including Dorper, Texel, Finn, Romanov, Boir goat, Swiss alpine goat, and other breeds are being introduced to boost mutton production.