Joint Director Poultry cum LPP

Dr Altaf Ahmad Laway


Poultry Development in Kashmir

The poultry development programme was initiated Kashmir Division during the year 1957-58 to introduce the improved breeds and also to meet the growing demand of eggs and table-birds. Subsequently, realizing the progress and potential, the programme was extended to generate the employment through establishment of commercial Poultry farms. With the sustained efforts of the department both these objectives have been achieved to a considerable extent. Thousands of small and medium scale farms have emerged all over the valley providing both direct and indirect employment opportunities to a large chunk of people through the poultry development wing and extension programmes of the department. The poultry population in Kashmir Division is about 42-23 lac out of which 25 are of improved varieties. The department is running poultry project one each at Hariparbat Srinagar and Mattan Anantnag under integrated poultry development programme with the prime objectives of:
1. Production of quality day old chicks at the hatchery for sale to the poultry breeders/farmers.
2. Supply of chicks to various poultry demonstration centres in the division for further distribution to the progressive farmers after rearing up to 2-3 months of age.
3. Providing necessary inputs, technical guidance and training to the progressive farmers for setting up of new poultry units.
4. Providing diagnostic and health cover facilities to the poultry farmers.
5. Providing marketing support to the poultry farmers for eggs and birds.
Over all in-charge of the programme is Joint Director, Poultry cum Livestock Production Programme Hariparbat who is assisted by a team of officers at divisional as well as district level.
KCL Project
The Department is continuing with the project for bringing genetic improvement of the strain, which has shown high adaptability and better performance under the agro-climatic conditions of the Valley.
The Department is engaged with a project to evolve a high producing hybrid layer suitable to the agro-climatic conditions of the Kashmir valley. The technical programme of the scheme aims at:
a) Characterization of native poultry.
b) Evolving of a backyard poultry bird well adapted to the agro-climatic conditions of the Kashmir Valley.
The project was started in the year 1998-99 and under the research programme the local genetic poultry material of Tangmarg, Lolab and Yousmarg areas has been used to study various adaptability traits. The genes from recognized exotic breeds have been used for improving the egg / meat production capacity of the local genetic material. The data was recorded with respect to various objective traits and fixed so as to study the improvement in these traits. Egg type sires were used in 1st phase and broiler type sire in 2nd phase on F1 progeny.
The studies done on the economic traits of birds of F1 generation with regard to age at maturity, egg number, average egg weight, average body weight and longevity showed excellent results in all the three improved genetic groups. The progeny obtained by inducing broiler type sire to the F1 progeny (local x egg type sire) has also given encouraging results as compared to the control group both under captivity and in free range system. The Kashmir Commercial Layer (KCL) foundation stock has been evolved with the stabilization programme to assess the actual performance potential of the newly evolved "KCL" bird.
The statistical analysis of the data generated so far has been done in collaboration with SKUAST, Kashmir. The genetic characteristics of the local breed have been taken up in collaboration with Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar.
The genetic characterization of the local breed will help in studying the genetic worth of the native bird and the genetic variability in the local genetic resources pertaining to native poultry bird. This may also yield other valuable scientific information, which could be subsequently exploited in the breeding of birds at higher altitudes.
Technical Programme
The department has about 58,700 sq.ft. rearing space with 34,500 sq.ft. under divisional sector and about 24,200 sq.ft. under district sector. As a result of the efforts of the department there has been a tremendous leap forward in poultry development sector both qualitatively and quantitatively. Qualitatively speaking the department has introduced high yielding strain of both egg type birds and broiler type birds under its backyard development program. The parent stock of various breeds and strains like Rhode Island Red, Kalinga Brown, Vanraja, Chabro as well as Kashmir Commercial Layer and being reared at Government farms and their chicks provided to various beneficiaries.
Commercial Broiler farming has gained popularity among entrepreneurs and it has been estimated that about 400-600 lac broilers are being raised by private farmers every year, this means that about 45-75 lac kgs of poultry is being sold in the market on the monthly basis. There are over 3500 private farmers with a rearing capacity from 500 to 10,000 birds per cycle registered with the department.
The department besides giving technical guidance is actively engaged in providing the inputs to these farmers in terms of vaccines, medicines, etc on subsidized basis.
The network of our poultry developmental stations/centres is as under:
1. Intensive Poultry Development Project
(a) Hariparbat Srinagar
(b) Mattan Anantnag
2. District Poultry Farms
(a) Baramulla
(b) Umberhair
(c) Wadoora (Sopur)
3. Poultry Demonstration Centers
(a) Budgam
(b) Trehgam
(c) Kakapora
(d) Kangan
(e) Kulgam
4. Broiler Project
(a) Hariparbat
Other activities undertaken by the department under poultry development are recorded as under:
A. Training Institute
For imparting training to the prospective entrepreneurs interested to set up poultry units, the department is under taking the training of farmers training class at Hariparbat campus. In addition, training in various aspects of poultry rearing is imparted to para-vets at the Stock Assistant Training School, Ganderbal.
B. Feed Analytical Lab
For conducting feed analytical tests, the department has an analytical lab at Hariparbat, which is at present carrying out proximate analysis and other feed analytical tests. This helps the private farmers in analysing the feed sample whenever approached.
C. Feed Manufacturing Units
The department has a feed manufacturing unit at Hariparbat, where quality feed of various types is manufactured for supply to the government farms as well as sale to the private farms.
D. Poultry Development Organization at District Level:
For providing necessary technical guidance, health cover and vaccination facilities to the poultry farmers, the department has a full-fledged Poultry Development Officer, one poultry extension officer and a number of poultry supervisors in all erstwhile district.
The face of poultry development could have been altogether different in Kashmir but for the agro-climatic challenges especially during winters when the temperature reaches sub-zero level. This coupled with mono cropping pattern are in fact major constraints in the raising of laying stock. The low production of poultry feed ingredients like maize, soyabean, fish meal etc in the valley is responsible for higher production costs. There is an urgent need to take immediate steps for providing extra grants to poultry sector to meet the challenges of variable DOC & feed costs as well as creation of facilities for rearing during winter till suitable building designs are adopted to modernize the poultry rearing in the valley.
Similarly, to meet the increased demand of lacs of Day-Old Chicks in respect of poultry backyard development programme in private sector, the existing rearing space that is used for maintenance of broiler parent lines needs to be augmented substantially.
Problems being faced under existing set up are as under
1. Out of the present about 90,000-sq. ft. rearing space about 20% space is either gutted or too dilapidated to be of use
The rearing space not only needs to be made fully functional, but also increased to about 1.5 lac sq. ft. Rearing space to meet the present demands of the public to fully meet the distribute of 1-2 age group LIT birds under state and central government scheme programmes all over the valley and Ladakh.
2. Most of the rearing space in Hariparbat and Athwajan government farms and other has been built about 30-40 years ago, as a result the condition of the sheds is not such to achieve maximum production .
The cost of production of hatching eggs under present status and prevailing set up due to all problems mentioned before is about Rs. 20 approximately including only inputs. The conditions if improved and give a priority thought as suggested above the production cost of hatching eggs may reach to less than Rs. 10 per egg.
The broiler industry in private sector is performing wall. They need technical guidance and disease diagnostic and for successful and efficient broiler production. There is need for efficient marketing support by the Animal Husbandry Department to the farmers to avoid unnecessary profiting by the middleman.
Finally, poultry needs to be treated at par with industry and all benefits of the industrial policy need to percolate to it as well.