1. Animal Husbandry

Sheep Farming, a New Focus for Kashmiri Entrepreneurs

Abin Joseph
Abin Joseph

Kashmiri Entrepreneurs have now switched their focus from conventional ways of doing business to sheep rearing. This unprecedented switch might have been probably due to the price of mutton in the valley which currently is around 600 Rs for a kilogram.  

One such example is Javid Ahmad, who abandoned a career in the business sector to start a sheep farm. Initially, he had a difficult time persuading his parents. Now, though, everyone at home is pleased with his efforts as he told the reporters that “I started initially with 25 ewes and 1 ram. As an owner of the farm, I had to work hard as the sheep can catch diseases very quickly and one has to be very cautious in handling them. After two years of being in the business, I have around 500 sheep and so far I am doing well as there is a huge demand for mutton in the Kashmir division”.  

Imtiyaz Ahmad, a student at the University of Islamabad, is another such example who has also developed a sheep farm in the Islamabad region. Despite the fact that it is his first year in business, he claims that although it’s his first year in this field he is hopeful that it will be a successful venture as there is huge potential in this line because of the demand for mutton in the market.  

Mutton demand in Jammu and Kashmir is rising at a steep pace the annual consumption in four years has increased by 130 lakh kgs. On average  J&K consumes 600 lakh kg of mutton per year, with 350 lakh kg imported from neighbouring states. These statistics themselves is something that clearly demarcates an opportunity for mutton providers in the state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Wool in India in the month of September was priced at a rate of 893 Rs per kilogram while sheep milk and sheepskin were respectively priced at 400 Rs per litre and 897 Rs per square meter each.  

As Jammu and Kashmir is significantly reliant on foreign suppliers to satisfy their mutton needs, the state's new Livestock Breeding Policy intends to reduce the state's mutton import bill by bridging the demand and supply gap by focusing on creating high-yielding breeds in the state. 

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