The package is being used to finance the implementation of several programmes, such as the aerial fertilisation of pastures (or manual fertilisation at isolated places where aerial spraying is not possible), eradicating toxic and obnoxious weeds, reseeding clover and other fodder crops or planting fodder trees.

According to Mir, pastureland in plains is shrinking because of growing urbanisation and population growth. “That is why we are now going for the vertical growth of sheep livestock, which means we will increase the meat production capacity of Kashmir Merino,” Mir notes. “For example, if an individual so far used to have the carcass weight of 14 kg, we will take it to 18-20 kg.” His department is importing livestock from Australia, New Zealand and Texas (US) to infuse new blood into the stock of Kashmir Merino. The focus is not only on meat. “While we want to improve mutton production, we can’t afford to lose the wool parameter which we have already achieved.