Animal Husbandry

AnimalHusbandry

Animal Husbandry plays a pivotal role in the rural economy and generates substantial income for the rural population. This is more true in case of Ladakh, a cold desert, lacking in sufficient tree cover, bio-mass generation and sandy soils with negligible organic matter. In order to accelerate the active role of animal husbandry in agriculture and the economy of Ladakh, step by step approach is required. Fodder, feed, reproduction and shelter assume high priority along with the requisite veterinary services. Besides the main project, four sites in Nubra, Saspol, Nyoma & changthang are being identified as the main fodder producing centers. Apart from sustaining the livestock in the summer months, the surplus fodder is to be converted into silage for the off season. In addition, a cattle feed plant is being proposed at the main project to sustain an increased livestock population. The resulting higher quantities of animal products like milk, eggs, poultry are to be processed at the project processing plant. Later a meat processing plant is to be added followed by leather and wool processing plants.

Animal-Husbandry

Animal-Husbandry

Sukovinda Singh during his work shift in the milking room of Gianluigi Fiamenghi's farm in San Bassano, Italy.  
Credit SamuelePellecchia for the International Herald Tribune

The Indians, many of whom are Sikhs, first arrived in the area just as a generation of dairy workers was retiring, with no substitutes in sight.

“They saved an economy that would have gone to the dogs because young people didn’t want to work with cows,” Mayor DalidoMalaggi of Pessina Cremonese said. Though the dairy industry is mostly mechanized today, human labor is still necessary 365 days a year, he explained.

 Dairy Farm

Ladakh is a cold desert with temperatures going down to approx. minus 35 degree c. Conditions become difficult not only for humans but also animals. Lack of proper enclosures affects animal’s productivity and all other parameters. A dairy farm is a commercial activity and animal’s comfort would ensure the good health, productivity and ultimately the profit of the dairy farm. Temperature, humidity, hygiene and ventilation along with good feed and nutrition would determine disease free and healthy animals. There is a potential to produce some niche products like “Ladakh Cheese”, the way some Sikh families have done in Italy.

Animal-Husbandry

A typical cattle feed plant diagram

Project Glimpse Our Plans

The MOU signed with LAHDC is for about 1000 hectares of wasteland to be developed by us. The pilot project for the initial 2 years was started in 2016. About 25 hectares have been brought under crop cultivation first time in thousands of years. The crops grown in 2017 are: Canola type Mustard –Breeder & certified seed ( PM 30), Hybrid Maize, Hybrid Arhar, Hybrid Wheat, Sunflower, a few fodder crops, Rajma, Peas, Lobia ( Kidney beans ) several types of local & outside vegetables and flowers, a few grafted nursery seedlings of Chinar, Walnut and Apple fruits.

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