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Livestock Economy of Nomadic Gujjars: A Case Study of Udhampur District of J&K

Dr. Virender Koundal

Journal Title:

Livestock production is an integral part of J&K economy and plays a vital role in the state economy. At present, livestock contributes about 41 percent to the agricultural sector and 12.20% in the NSDP for 2007-08 at current prices In Jammu and Kashmir, animal husbandry plays a significant role as 0.13 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) of the state is contributed by this sector. The Gujjars who have been a nomadic tribe in the state of J&K, animal husbandry is their main occupation. They are mostly nomads in the state and are roaming from one place to another for the search of pastures for their animals. Generally, their cattle are considered to be of poor quality, uneconomical and a burden on land. We have conducted this study in order to assess the Gujjars bovine economy in the J&K state. For this we have used secondary as well as primary data. For secondary data, books, reports, journals, web sites etc we have explored. For primary data, a comprehensive survey of 100 households of nomadic Gujjars was conducted in Udhampur district of J&K. In this paper we have found that Gujjars are rearing local breed and possessing surplus animals. There is acute shortage of fodder especially green nutritious fodder, which is the major cause of low productivity of the livestock. The available fodder is not only insufficient but also poor in nutritive value; as a result, the productivity of the animals is very low. And due to this bovine economy is almost uneconomical for them. In this paper it is suggested to improve the livestock economy of Gujjars, they must get adequate supply of feed and fodder, adequate animals health facilities, improved genetic or breeding system, marketing facilities etc.