Training programme on Revitalizing Wool, Pelt Industry begins at SKUAST-Jammu under HADP

JAMMU, JUNE 21: Vice-Chancellor, SKUAST-Jammu, Dr. B. N. Tripathi today inaugurated a 7-Day training programme on Revitalizing Wool & Pelt Industry in Jammu and Kashmir under Holistic Agriculture Development Plan organised here in the Varsity Campus. The Workshop has been organised by SKUAST-Jammu in collaboration with the Department of Sheep Husbandry, Government of Jammu and Kashmir.

Dr. Tripathi, the Chief Guest, in his inaugural address, said that since independence to till date, the production of all agricultural and livestock based commodities has gone up to a remarkable level, but the production of wool has gone down in India due to various reasons like scattered production, unorganized market practices, lack of collectivism/aggregation, lack of processing facilities and dwindling cottage industry.  He further said all the sectors are booming except the wool sector.

The HADP project is in the right direction to uplift the sheep farming in J&K and to enhance the production and processing of wool with the development of much needed infrastructure in this sector.

The Vice Chancellor was of the opinion that, this is an era of value addition of raw products, so is the value addition of wool to different products will lead to enhance income and livelihood status of sheep farming communities. He congratulated the organizing team for taking the initiative to organize such an important training programme which will definitely help to improve the wool and pelt industry in J&K in near future.

Dr. R. K. Samnotra, Director Research, SKUAST-Jammu also spoke on the occasion and said that much of our wool is of coarse nature. He said Jammu and Kashmir is having potential of becoming a global leader in pashmina wool products.

Earlier, Dr. M.S. Bhadwal, Dean, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, SKUAST-Jammu, welcomed the dignitaries and gave an overall view of sheep farming in J&K.

Dr. Surinder Gupta, Deputy Director Sheep Husbandry Department, Jammu, elaborated the constraints which led to the downfall of wool production and the problems faced by sheep rearers in wool production, processing and marketing.

Dr. B. Brahma, Professor, LPM and convenor of the training programme, gave a detailed view about the training programme and also informed the house about its importance. All the statutory officers of the university, head of the divisions, faculty members and participants from Sheep Husbandry Department were present during the occasion. At the end, vote of thanks was presented by Dr. Sudhakar Dwivedi, Professor, Agricultural Economics and convenor of the programme. Proceedings of the program were conducted by Neer Somakka N, Ph.D scholar. 

Sheep farming is a source of livelihood security to the majority of populace in rural areas. Besides meat, it also provides wool and other by-products. Effective utilisation of these secondary products is a key for the sheep industry to become a successful enterprise. The union territory of Jammu and Kashmir has strengths in the form of being the second in the country in terms of wool production as well producing the finest quality wool. However, due to scattered production, unorganized market practices, lack of collectivism/aggregation, lack of processing facilities, dwindling cottage industry are some of the hurdles in the development of the wool industry in the region. Similarly, 20-25 lakhs skins/pelts are being harvested annually from slaughtered animals whose value is not being realized to its potential. Scattered production, lack of processing facility, inadequate R&D initiatives are some of the gaps for poor value realization. Keeping in view these facts, the Government of Union Territory of Jammu & Kashmir envisioned Holistic Project on “Promotion of Wool & Pelt Industry in J&K” with the primary objective of leveraging upon the available resource base in Wool & Pelt for creating greater economic and market returns through collectivism, processing, capacity building, skill development and R&D for the overall development of wool and pelt industry in J&K. In line with the HADP, the SKUASTJammu is also entrusted for providing capacity building of trainers for overall development of wool and pelt based diversified value-added products and industry in the region.

The 7 day Training has been organised for  sensitization and awareness about the prospectus of wool and pelt processing in the region, to train the participants with the contemporary knowledge and technology viz-a-viz wool and pelt processing, Competency building of the participants for creating & strengthening collectivism and value processing in the wool and pelt industry, Networking of the trainers for developing economic leverage from available resource base ; Capacitate trainers about different technical and conceptual facets of wool and pelt processing; Creation of standard mode of instructions for further dissemination among the sheep farmers, harvesters, processors and pelt collectors.