Lakhanpur Pashudhan Vyaapar Mela; an array of opportunities for farming community

Gateway to J&K emerging as One-Stop destination for Sale, Purchase of quality livestock

 

KATHUA : The quest for getting best quality livestock has always been a dream for the farming community as the subsistence of their livelihood and its sustenance relies on agriculture and allied activities like dairying, poultry, fodder to a great extent.

Keeping this in view, the UT administration has come up with the novel idea of organising Livestock Trade Fair–“Pashudhan Vyaapar Mela” to provide One Stop Destination for sale and purchase of quality livestock that will strengthen J&K’s dairy sector. The intent was to make available High Yielding Breeds of livestock at the door step of farmers and dispensing with the need for venturing outside the UT in search of quality breeds of animals.

In a First of its kind event in J&K to provide a major fillip to Animal and Sheep Husbandry sector with additional source of income to farmers, the UT administration has devised a plan to provide single platform for all stakeholders besides exploiting full potential of J&K in milk, fodder and mutton production This will cut down imports substantially besides bridging the demand and supply gap in the poultry sector and generating employment by attracting new entrepreneurs as mentioned by LG during the Vishal Pashudhan Vyapar Mela organized at Hiranagar Kathua.

In the beginning, the event was organized on pilot basis at Nagri and Hiranagar in Kathua district which got an overwhelming response from the farming community besides the livestock owners from the neighbouring states of Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh and others.

This move of the UT administration was aimed at showcasing the high quality breeds of cows, buffaloes, sheep, goats etc and related machinery of state of the art technology pertaining to Animal and Sheep Husbandry sectors. Besides, the provision of facilitating sale/purchase of animals, awareness generation of all government schemes for farmer welfare, health check up of animals, tagging and insurance of animals after sale and purchase are also taken up.

Lakhanpur being the gateway to J&K fits well as the focal point for hosting of Mega Livestock Trade Fair as it is easily accessible, approachable for farmers across the UT who otherwise had to spend a lot of their valuable time and money in search of good quality livestock.

The featured event which is now a monthly affair has become a cynosure of all eyes being the only event of this magnitude offering a great deal of opportunities to the farmers of Jammu and Kashmir.

From being a regular affair, now the Pashudhan Vyapar Mela is going hammers and tongs across the region as it is not only confined to trade of livestock but will also facilitate doubling the income of farmers through adoption of best practices, genetic up-gradation of milch animals, latest technical interventions and proper management of high-quality breeds of milch animals.

Not even a year has passed since inception of the event; the results from this initiative of the UT administration are very much promising and encouraging as gauged by the prosperity it has brought into the lives of farmers benefited from the host of schemes like Integrated Dairy Development Scheme(IDDS), Integrated Poultry Development Programme (IPDP), Integrated Fodder Development Scheme (IFDS), Integrated Sheep Development Scheme( ISDS) besides provision of free vaccination against the FMDV disease minimizing the associated risks.

Kathua alone has witnessed a whopping increase in establishment of IDDS units (each unit comprising 5 animals) from the last year tally of 78 units to 142 units (710 animals) so far in the current financial year with two months remaining. The breakup of IDDS beneficiaries in Kathua district includes 31 units from Nagri, 28 from Barnoti, 26 from Marheen, 20 from Kathua, 11 from Mahanpur, 6 from Basohli, 6 from Keerian Gandyal and 1 from Nagrota Gujjroo and 1 from Hiranagar blocks respectively.

Likewise, farmers of other districts of J&K UT also availed the opportunities of buying high quality breeds of cow, buffaloes, etc from these Pashudhan Melas which includes purchase of 106 animals by farmers of samba district, 690 from Jammu, 56 from Rajouri, 36 from Reasi, 39 from Udhampur, 43 from Ramban, 84 from Doda, 44 from Poonch, 54 from Srinagar, 47 from Baramulla, 21 from Ganderbal, 20 from Shopian, 70 from Kupwara, 5 from Kulgam, 15 from Budgam, 14 from Bandipora and 21 from Anantnag districts respectively.

Narrating his success story, Progressive farmer Kewal Krishan Khajuria of Block Nagri of Kathua district termed the initiative of the administration as a path breaking step to bring effervescent and ebullient changes in the lives of farmers who are looking forward to explore avenues in the dairy sector. “With the technical know how provided by the team of experts from District Animal Husbandry Office Kathua, I have successfully established a Dairy unit by purchasing 40 animals under IDDS running with the name and style M/s Krishna Kamdhenu Dairy and providing over 3.5 quintals of milk daily to JKMPCL which was founded with the help of Gujarat Dairy Cooperative Amul in 2004 to empower milk producers in the Union Territory of J&K.

Another farmer Sayed Ali Chaudhary from Block Marheen who has established 8 units under IDDS expressed his happiness to get the quality breeds of animals through Pashudhan Vyapar Mela which is providing handsome earning to him. While expressing his gratitude towards the administration, he said “Pashudhan Vyapar Mela is transforming lives of people associated with farming/ agriculture to unprecedented scale”.

District Animal Husbandry Officer, Kathua, Dr Satvir Raina, who is District Nodal Officer to look after the featured Pashudhan Vyapar Mela said that the initiative has got huge response from everywhere as farmers of every nook and corner across J&K UT has availed benefits from this platform. He disclosed that provision of Mobile Veterinary Clinic will be launched soon in the district which will offer doorstep delivery to the farmers in need.

The DAHO also informed that village Mirpur Ram in Block Nagri is slated to become Maiden Milk Village from district Kathua for which over 125 units have been approved by the department. He further stated that in addition to providing trading of quality livestock, the platform is also extending helping hand by providing information and related literature of best farm practices and relevant machinery to enhance their outcomes.

Deputy Commissioner, Kathua, Rahul Yadav, said the event also lays emphasis on educating farmers about the latest cattle breeds besides providing opportunities to get the best breed of livestock along with exposure to latest farm practices. He said such Melas play an important role in grooming livestock owners who can get ideas and expertise from outside breeders.

He said the administration has established a dedicated counter to facilitate all the stakeholders involved in sale and purchase of livestock by providing necessary clearances at the venue expeditiously.

The Department of Animal Husbandry has taken a series of steps to empower farmers and livestock owners to adopt dairy farming which has huge market demand.

The platform offers a wide range of opportunities to youth to come forward and start their units in dairy farming under Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS) which provides expertise and necessary machinery at subsidized rates.

The decision of revamping several schemes by Agriculture and allied sectors coupled with the introduction of Pashudhan Vyapar Mela has witnessed considerable increase in milk production in recent times. The objective is to make Jammu & Kashmir self-sufficient in milk production which is presently importing over 25% of the total consumption from the neighbouring states of Punjab and Haryana.

LG, while inaugurating the event at Hiranagar, cited a research paper on the changing agriculture and horticulture system of Jammu and Kashmir published in the USA’s science journal ‘Heliyon’, which acknowledged the historic development taking place in the Agriculture sector in the UT. The Lt Governor credited the determined efforts of officials of the administration and the farming community for this unprecedented development.

With the vision of UT administration, the initiative of Pashudhan Vyapar Mela is benefitting farmers by fulfilling their aspirations, thus moving forward in the direction of their development and augmenting their incomes by manifold. This good governance initiative of the UT Administration highlights the tremendous potential that J&K holds for growth in the farming & allied sectors besides contributing to the gross happiness of the farming community.

 

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