Recently, the government sanctioned 130 million rupees (1.95 million US dollars) for creating more sheep breeding farms for the livestock imports (for breeding) and establishing 35 more veterinary clinics for sheep at various locations across the state.

Improving the feed base

In summers, alpine pastures known as Bahaks or Margs are the natural habitats of sheep. The herders migrate their livestock from lower parts of Kashmir for grazing from May to October to these highland pastures, which are situated in the upper reaches of the forests and are controlled by the state government. Over the years, some of these pastures have been facing issues of degradation due to continuous and indiscriminate grazing and extinction of superior grasses and legumes. Government officials say that they are in the process of addressing these problems in order to improve the quality of the grazing areas. “We have sought a special financial package for the development of these pastures,” says Mir.