Introduction to KashmirForum.org Blog

I launched the website and the Blog after having spoken to government officials, political analysts and security experts specializing in South Asian affairs from three continents. The feedback was uniformly consistent. The bottom line is that when Kashmiris are suffering and the world has its own set of priorities, we need to find ways to help each other. We must be realistic, go beyond polemics and demagoguery, and propose innovative ideas that will bring peace, justice and prosperity in all of Jammu and Kashmir.

The author had two reasons to create this blog. First, it was to address the question that was being asked repeatedly, especially, by journalists and other observers in the U.S., U.K., and Canada, inquiring whether the Kashmiri society was concerned about social, cultural and environmental challenges in the valley given that only political upheaval and violence were reported or highlighted by media.

Second, the author has covered the entire spectrum of societal issues and challenges facing Kashmiri people over an 8-year period with the exception of politics given that politics gets all the exposure at the expense of REAL CHALLENGES that will likely result in irreversible degradation in the quality of life and the standard of living for future generations of Kashmiris to come.

The author stopped adding additional material to the Blog once it was felt that most, if not all, concerns, challenges and issues facing the Kashmiri society are cataloged in the Blog. There are over 1900 entries in the Blog and most commentaries include short biographical sketches of authors to bring readers close to the essence of Kashmir. Unfortunately, the 8-year assessment also indicates that neither Kashmiri civil society, nor intellectuals or political leadership have any inclination or enthusiasm in pursuing issues that do not coincide with their vested political agendas. What it means for the future of Kashmiri children and their children is unfathomable. But the evidence is all laid out.

This Blog is a reality check on Kashmir. It is a historical record of how Kashmir lost its way.

Vijay Sazawal, Ph.D.
www.kashmirforum.org

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Land of Milk and Honey

It is a great day out in the country!

Record milk production in Kashmir

Srinagar: Annual milk production in Kashmir Valley has touched a record mark of 8.78 lakhs of metric tonnes, an increase of 28,000 metric tonnes over the previous year, courtesy the formation of new milk co-operative societies and commissioning of modern processing units.
Milk production in Jammu and Kashmir valley increased tremendously in the past couple of years. It has shot up by 300 per cent over the last six years.

The production of milk has increased to 8.78 lakh metric tonnes annually in Kashmir. It was 8.50 lakh metric tonnes earlier. This year the per capita availability of milk in Kashmir is 356 grams per day where as the Indian Council of Medical Research has made it mandatory that 290 grams per day must be available to an individual, said Fayaz Ahmad Kaloo, the Deputy Director (Central) of Animal Husbandry department of Jammu and Kashmir.

The Department of Animal Husbandry is trying to expand the number of dairies through integrated dairy development programme to set up societies so that we can canalise overall milk produce, Kaloo added.

A new concept of milk societies that has come up in Jammu and Kashmir has played a very crucial role to increase the production of milk. These milk societies formed by local villagers have started mushrooming all over the State.

Milk from all these societies is collected and transported to the processing units. Later, at these processing units, the milk is pasteurised and packed before being despatched to the markets for sale.

With each passing year, the number of milk co-operative societies is on the rise, and this year, it stood at 190 against 150 in the previous year.

Last year, we had 150 societies. Milk is coming from all the districts in Kashmir. This year we have 190 societies. Last year, our procurement was 8,000 litres and this year it is more than 12,000 litres, almost over 4,000 litres increase in production, said Khurshid Ahmed, a dairy owner and milk supplier to a processing unit.

The network of new societies, collection points and processing units has opened new job prospects for the youth in the State. So much so, many youths have ventured to take up dairying as a lucrative profession. With the help of the Animal Husbandry Department of Jammu and Kashmir, these enterprising youngsters have been familiar with the latest developments in dairy farming and enhanced milk production.

Honey production shows surge in Valley

Srinagar: Having setup a target of 1900 as the population of beekeepers for 2008-09 and 2200 for 2009-10 and with an existing 20000 number of the bee colonies in the valley, the Apiculture Development is expected to show an upswing in its graph.

The honey production in the valley, as per records, is also rising with 125 tonnes production registered in 2005-06, 215 tonnes in 2006-07, 200 tonnes in 2007-08 and the targeted production for the year 2008-09 is 300 tonnes and for 2009-10 is 350 tonnes.

The export of honey was 100 MTs in 2005-06, 100 in 2006-07, 150 in 2007-08 and the target export for 2008-09 is setup at 200 MTs and for 2009-10 is 250 MTs.

Despite certain limitations, Apiculture if pursued in systematic manner and duly regulated by the people associated with it, could improve the economy of a number of people.

1 comment:

AZHAR said...

it is a very informative write up, but the person u have quoted is a well known person in kashmir's print media and it is very ironical that the same person is also a deputy director in the animal husbandry department.
please verify.