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.
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.
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.
A typical cattle feed plant diagram
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.
Minimum land development, retaining natural slopes and contours are the first Mantra of this project. This saves a lot of money, does not disturb the top soil and provides the natural drainage in case of any cloudburst or unusual and heavy downpour. The latest irrigation technologies also eliminate the need for land development / land leveling.Read More
First time tried in Ladakh. Hydro-seeding has been successfully demonstrated on the foothills of mountains on two sides of our project site. In both the places, fodder seeds brought from other states, germinated well and had good luxuriant growth. After the Hon’ble CEC , EC – Agri. Of LAHDC and other officials visited the hydro-seeding plots, the areas were thrown open for the stray...Read More
Cropping plans were slightly modified in order to show quick payback and to ensure project sustainability, cash crops were given priority. Hence oilseeds – Mustard & Sunflower were chosen in the first instance. The latest Canola type Mustard variety – PM 30, which was released by IARI only last year, became our main cash crop in 2017. Breeder & Certified seeds were obtained...Read More
Breeder seed of Canola type Mustard – PM 30 variety, released by IARI, has been brought in under license and sown on more than 15 acres. The certified seed thus produced would be distributed to the local Ladakhi farmers to increase the total area under PM30 mustard variety. Similarly, the promising varieties of other crops would be selected for seed production...Read More
The soils in Ladakh are severally deficient in the organic matter, mainly due to negligible tree cover ( 0.06 % forest cover in Ladakh ) and very low human and animal population. Any small quantity of fresh cow & cattle dung takes about 12 months to fully decompose and to make suitable farm yard manure.( 7 months with minus night temperature ). A technique of...Read More
The idea is to design the appropriate irrigation system for each crop. For field crops like Mustard, wheat corn etc. RainGun, or traveler irrigation in the form of Truck tanker fitted with high pressure pumpsets and raingun type nozzles. The row crops like fruit plants, Roses, Boundary plantations have drip irrigation systems. Small sprinklers for vegetables...Read More
The sowing season starts well before the roads open towards Kashmir and Manali. Hence we were left with only two options. Go for hand broadcasting of seeds or design our own seed drill. We adopted both the options. We designed our own seed cum fertilizer drill and supplemented it with hand broadcasting of seeds...
In order to save on fencing > 6 Kms. Of peripheral boundary, we decided to opt for digging deep trenches along the boundary to stop stray animals walking and feeding on our growing crops. This step has been very successful even against the horses who could jump smaller obstacles and damage the growing crops.
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...
India is the second largest producer of fruits and vegetables in the world after China. It accounts for about 15 per cent of the world’s production of vegetables.As per the latest estimates, by Central Institute of Post-Harvest Engineering and Technology (CIPHET), Ludhiana, the wastage of fresh horticultural...