Fodder production

Fodder production

The J & K administration, while acknowledging the tremendous agricultural potential here, has decided to go for many big projects in this sector.

In this connection recently J&K Govt announced Rs 129.05 cr initiative to reduce fodder deficit, boost livestock sector under HADP.

Fodder production in J&K faces several constraints and challenges, including competition for the area under fodder crops. The preference for food grains and oilseed crops intensifies the competition for the same target areas of cultivation. Additionally, the conversion of agricultural land to horticulture makes such lands permanently unavailable for annual fodder cultivation. Small land holdings in hill regions are responsible for less investment in farm lands, low scope of mechanization, and limited options for diversification. Therefore, reserving land for fodder crops in preference to food and cash crops remains a difficult proposition for a common farmer.

The region produces around 9.9 lakh tons of food grains, yet there is a deficit of 21.70 per cent, resulting in minimal allocation of land for fodder crop production. The major cereals and oilseeds are preferred over fodder crops to provide for daily dietary calories, and the crops compete for the same land area. Rapid urbanization puts more pressure on land resources and overall constraint on crop production.

The poor varietal profile is also a limitation in fodder production. Within the routinely grown fodder crops like maize, oats, bajra, sorghum, legumes, etc., varieties with high biomass and greater luxuriance are either not available or are limited in number adaptable across the region.

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