Many mega projects have been approved for the farming sector in Jammu and Kashmir and in this direction recently the government has approved Rs 129.05 cr initiative to reduce fodder deficit, boost livestock sector under HADP.
The government is encouraging farmers and other stakeholders to collaborate and work towards developing the agricultural and livestock sector, which would lead to a prosperous and thriving economy. With this goal in mind, a concrete framework has been proposed to maximize fodder production in the region. The framework adopts a holistic, comprehensive, and integrated approach, combining research and effective development processes to increase fodder production.
The Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has significant potential for fodder cultivation. The region has a large rangeland area of 1.19 lakh hectares, which can support livestock-based livelihood systems. Additionally, there are 2.15 lakh hectares of orchards that hold potential for intercropping of fodder crops production, known as the Horti-pastoral system. Field crops, such as paddy, maize, and wheat, are grown over 5 lakh hectares, producing large quantities of residues that serve as dry fodder for winter.
The top fodder/tree leaves, including Willow, Populous, Ailanthus, Mulberry, Apple, and Ulmus, are excellent sources of protein and minerals traditionally fed to livestock during scarcity. The foothills in the region can be used for fodder production, utilizing promising cultivars of grasses and legumes. Furthermore, various technological options such as cultivable fodder, chaffing of fodder/straws, urea treatment, roughage block, and silage making can be promoted to enhance fodder production.