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The Chicken Tale



The Chicken Tale

A conversation at a poultry shop

Azmat Alam Khan

The Chicken TaleThey were seeing each other for the first time. The broiler chick in its lifetime of six weeks had been always with chicken of its own type and all the time busy feeding. Likewise, the layer hen in her lifetime of eighteen months had met hens of her own type and over twelve months or so, she and her pen-mates had been busy laying eggs almost every day. The two would have never met, had not the coloured birds arrived at the poultry shop where both broiler and layer chicken were otherwise put for display in separate decks of a multi-deck cage. The arrival of coloured birds necessitated vacating one deck; as a result, the broiler birds were shifted to lower deck containing layer hens.

Both the Broiler chick and Layer hen tried to avoid each other and began nibbling on some leftover crumbs in the feeder. Luckily for both of them, the poultry shop had very few customers because of some misinformation arising on account of the outbreak of bird flu in a neighbouring state. No customers at the shop meant chicken at display got some more time to stay alive.

Nibbling on the crumbs from the feeder did not last long. Layer hen who was more outspoken was first to break the ice and strike a conversation. “Excuse me, Sir! You seem to be quite smart, and I guess you are taking good care of your physique. Any tips for me?” she told the broiler chick. “Thanks for the compliment. Please do not address me as Sir! I am just six weeks of age”, the broiler chick spoke in a bit of a hurry. “Only six weeks!” exclaimed the layer hen. “You must be from some other planet” the layer hen added. “No madam. I am from this very planet. I am specifically bred for fast growth. In fact, I am a crossbred. My parents are from different breeds; Cornish father and Plymouth Rock mother to be precise” the broiler chick explained. “Are chicken of your type only males and if there are females in your breed do they lay eggs,” the layer hen asked with excitement. “Of course! there are male and female broiler chicks” the broiler chick replied, pointing to two broiler chicks in the cage who were females. “And if we grow, hens among us can lay eggs also,” the broiler chick added in a husky voice. “Unfortunately, we end up quite young on the man’s plate and never get to grow beyond seven weeks of age”, the broiler chick added in a depressing tone. “Ah! Sorry to hear that” the layer hen tried to console the broiler chick.

“Madam, tell me something about yourself. How old are you? What about your ancestry?” the broiler chick enquired. “Well! I am some eighteen months old and mostly the birds of our type belong to White Leghorn breed” the hen replied. “You seem to be quite lean and thin. Don’t you get enough food to eat?” the broiler chick enquired further. “Like your breed has been specifically bred for fast growth, our breed has been specifically bred for laying a good number of eggs,” the hen replied. “That is really great more eggs would mean more baby chicks. Your breed must be propagating well,” the broiler chick replied. He was now getting very interested in the conversation. “Don’t you have male birds” the broiler chick enquired further.

The layer hen replied with a deep sigh, “My boy! There is a very sad story behind all this. No doubt our breed lays a good number of eggs but eggs being laid by females, the male chicks of our breed are killed once they are hatched. Man has mastered the skill of identifying the sex of baby chicks at their hatch. The male chicks are identified, separated and dumped in polythene bags and suffocated to death. Only female chicks get to grow in layer farms and after six months of age start laying eggs and lay an egg almost every day”.

“Wait! Wait! How come you lay eggs without males,” the broiler chick interrupted. “My boy! No male intervention is required to lay eggs,” the layer hen explained. “Man needs table eggs (unfertilised) for his diet and he gets them from the hens. Such eggs will never produce chicks even if incubated for 100 days instead of 21 days. For getting chicks a separated class of chicken known as parent stock is reared where in cocks and hens are stocked together to obtain fertile eggs for hatching,” the hen added further.

“O! That is the case. Thank you for the explanation,” the broiler chick said. “Well, now I am able to understand that I am here in this shop to be sold to somebody to relish my meat and you are here to produce eggs that are being sold in those trays”, the broiler chick added, pointing to the stack of egg boxes and trays lying in another corner of the poultry shop. “No my boy! You are wrong”, the layer hen replied clearing her throat. “Like you, I am here to end up on somebody’s plate. I am done with the job of laying eggs. I still can but not with that high frequency. The hens of my age are sold as spent hens,” the layer hen added further.

While the layer hen and the broiler chick were engrossed in an interesting discussion, the poultry shop had a customer who asked for a chicken. The shop owner caught hold of the broiler chick and in no time, dressed it and handed over the cut-up parts to the customer packed in a bag. While the layer hen was still lamenting at the sudden loss of her newly found friend, a beggar woman approached the poultry shop owner for alms. She begged the shopkeeper to spare some giblets for preparing soup for her children. The shopkeeper was too generous and instead of giving away giblets, he caught hold of a layer hen, dressed it and handed over the packet to the beggar woman.

The author teaches Poultry Science at SKUAST-Kashmir. He can be reached at [email protected]

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NABARD offers 44% subsidy for setting up agribusiness units 



NABARD workshop on ACABC scheme

Holds workshop on ACABC scheme in Anantnag

Srinagar, Sept 22: To support agriculture development, create employment for agriculture graduates and extend extension services to farmers, a new scheme has been announced under NABARD for establishing Agri Clinics and AgriBusiness Centers (ACABC).

In this connection, a district-level workshop was organised by NABARD at Krishi Vigyan Kendra (SKUAST) Anantnag, according to a statement. 

DDM NABARD Rouf Zargar inaugurated the workshop, attended by agriculture graduates of the district, besides the district heads of Agriculture, Horticulture, SKUAST, and Banks were also present.  

Giving the details about the scheme, DDM said that it aims to provide business opportunities to unemployed agriculture graduates and the doorstep delivery of agricultural extension services to farmers to cater for their local needs and affordability. These clinics/business centres shall provide expert advice and services to farmers on various technologies.  

DDM informed that the requisite 60 days of training would be provided to applicants free of cost by the National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), through Nodal Training Institutes (NTIs). After the training, the applicants will be provided with a bank loan ranging from Rs 20 lakh to Rs 1 crore (individual or group) to start the unit. NABARD will channelise the 36% subsidy to general category applicants and 44 per cent to applicants belonging to scheduled castes, Scheduled Tribes (SC/ST) and Northeast, hilly states. 

Interested applicants can call toll-free number 1800-425-1556 or apply online on the acabcmis website

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SKUAST-K holds webinar on Self Directed Learning



SKUAST-K holds webinar

Srinagar, Aug 26: Sher-e-Kashmir University of Agricultural Sciences and Technology, Kashmir held a daylong webinar on ‘Self Directed Learning (SDL) – Veterinary Perspective’ at Shuhama Campus.

The webinar was organised by the university’s Division of Veterinary Anatomy, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences and Animal Husbandry, under the World Bank-ICAR funded National Agricultural Higher Education Project (NAHEP) for the institutional development of SKUAST-K. More than 100 students, scholars and faculty members participated in the webinar.

Head Veterinary Anatomy, Prof AR Choudhary, while welcoming the guests, deliberated on the purpose of the webinar.

Director Planning and Monitoring and PI NAHEP, Prof Nazir Ahmad Ganai, talked about the concept and importance of self-directed learning and the technologies associated with it.  Prof M Tufail Banday, Dean, FVSc & AH, in his address, highlighted the need for self-directed learning in achieving life-long learning. Dean Faculty of Fisheries, Prof Massarat Khan was also present in the webinar.

Prof Azmat Alam Khan Associate Director Research SKUAST-Kashmir presented the first lecture. He talked about Self-directed learning: concept, conduct and curriculum placement. Prof Azmat stressed on implementation of self-directed learning and its advantages for the learners to be life-long learners.

Dr Frances Shapter, Assistant professor in the School of Veterinary Science, The University of Queensland, Australia, in her lecture “Using clinical skills hub to augment veterinary technology clinical teaching” emphasised the use of simulators and other resources to augment self-directed learning in veterinary education.

Dr Firdous Assit Prof Veterinary Anatomy, in his lecture “Self-directed learning readiness of Indian Veterinary students” talked about the current scenario of acceptance of Self-directed learning in the veterinary curriculum.

A special talk on “International licensing examination” was lucidly presented by Dr Swaid Abdullah, Assist Prof in Veterinary Parasitology, The University of Queensland, Australia. He presented different international licensing examination protocols, procedures, and the ways to qualify them.

Dr Andleeb Rafiq of the Division of Veterinary Anatomy presented the vote of thanks.

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Floriculture Startups: Let’s revive the fragrance of Kashmir



Floriculture Startups Kashmir

A rapidly growing agri-industrial sector, Floriculture has an annual market share of Rs 15,000 crore in India with a yearly growth of 25%. Given the favourable climatic conditions, J&K has enormous potential for commercial floriculture. A detailed account of the present scenario of the sector and its prospectus of becoming a sunrise industry in Kashmir.

Naveed Bhat

Floriculture Startups KashmirFloriculture encompasses the cultivation of flowers, leaves, climbers, trees, shrubs, cacti, succulents, and other plants and their marketing and the creation of value-added goods. Bedding plants, houseplants, flowering garden & container plants, cut produced greens, and cut flowers are all examples of floriculture crops. Young flowering plants make up bedding and garden plants. It is thought to provide serendipity—a shift in one’s perspective about someone’s way of life. Flowers are cultivated in cell packs (flats or trays), pots, or hanging baskets, usually in a controlled environment, and are mostly sold for use in gardens and landscaping. The flowers are available in two forms: one in which the flowers are sold individually or in dozens without any packing or processing, and another in which the flowers are offered in bunches in which cut flowers are sold to the customers with arrangements like bouquets, flower vase arrangement, wedding arrangements, wreaths etc.

Economic aspect

Floriculture is a rapidly growing agri-industrial sector around the world, particularly as a potential money-maker for many countries. Many flowers and ornamental plants are planted for both domestic and international markets. They generate more returns per hectare area than any other agricultural commodity. The extraction of essential oils and the production of cost-effective products like Gulkand are both extremely beneficial. On a commercial scale, more than 145 industries are currently involved in flower cultivation. The establishment of the flower industry and perfume companies can contribute significantly to the reduction of unemployment. In 2014-15, the floriculture industry cultivated 248.51 thousand hectares of land. In 2016-17, the country exported 22086.10 MT of floriculture products to the world, valued at Rs 548.74 crores (US$82.05 million). Floriculture has become one of the most important commercial businesses in Indian agriculture due to considerable growth in demand for low-cost and loose flowers. India is ranked 18th in the world, with a 0.6 percent share of the global floriculture trade. Exports grew at a CAGR of 4.33 percent over the last decade. In the country as a whole, the domestic Indian market is growing at a 25% rate each year.

Aesthetic aspect

Landscaping is a billion-dollar-a-year industry in many states, and it ultimately adds to the monetary worth of any property. The health of a nation’s population is tied to its riches. We can safeguard the healthy development of our residents by offering open breathing spaces through bio-aesthetic planning and landscape gardening, as seen in Chandigarh. Horticulture therapy is a new level of horticulture science that uses garden, landscape plants, components of plants, and growing activity as tools to heal psychic debility. Bio aesthetic horticulture is emerging as a new occupational therapeutic tool to restore the lost rhythm and harmony to the human self or inner environment because the bio-force of plants offers a lasting solution to the problems of human bio-force. It’s used in psychiatric hospitals, general hospitals, physical rehabilitation centres, jails, schools, and senior living facilities.

Floriculture Startups Kashmir

Development of floriculture in India

The Indian government has designated floriculture as a sunrise sector with a 100% export-oriented status. Floriculture has become one of the most important commercial trades in agriculture as a result of the continual increase in demand. Floriculture is seen as a high-growth business in India. The liberalisation of industrial and trade policies set the door for the expansion of cut flower exports. Importing planting material of international standard was previously possible under the new seed policy. Commercial floriculture has been discovered to have a larger potential per unit area than other field crops, making it a profitable industry. The liberalised economy has encouraged Indian businesses to set up export-oriented floriculture operations in climate-controlled environments. In 2016-17, the Indian floriculture sector was worth Rs 9000 crore. In 2018, the Indian floriculture market was valued at Rs15700 crore. The market is expected to reach Rs 47200 crore by 2024, with a 20 percent CAGR between 2019 and 2024.

Rose, Jasmine, Orchid, Glardlya, Carnations, and Marigolds are popular commercial flowers with a total cropped area of 71 lakh acres in 2016-17. Since the last five years, it has grown at a CAGR of 25%. In 2016-17, total production was 22.36 lakh MT, with loose flowers accounting for over 69 percent of total production. India’s main export markets are the United States, Germany, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, and the Arab Emirates.


The demand for flowers is expanding at a quick rate as the level of living rises and people’s lifestyles change as a result of socio-economic changes in India. Encouraged by the rapid increase in domestic demand, a substantial number of export-oriented floriculture projects are looking to the domestic market to sell their produce during lean export seasons. In various big cities and industrial townships, there is a rapidly growing demand for different varieties of flowers for institutional buyers such as star hotels, big organisations and corporate houses, churches, temples, mosques, travel agencies, hospitals, embassies and trade missions, foreign organisations and organisations in the hospitality industry, and so on. A burgeoning flower market at the local, national, and international levels, where demand exceeds supply and global demand is expected to expand at a rate of 15 percent to 25 percent per year. Because industrialised countries rely heavily on imports to meet domestic demand, their high manufacturing costs present an opportunity.

The majority of major flower-producing countries are now industrialised and have a tiny surface area. As a result, the cost of acquiring land is quite high, making it unappealing to establish floriculture units in these nations. As a result, India has a huge opportunity to capitalise on the floriculture industry.

Floriculture Startup opportunities in Kashmir

Floriculture Startups KashmirFloriculture Startups in Kashmir have been highlighted as a successful sector, because of the favourable climate and commercial value. The demand for flowers and floral products is increasing as people’s lifestyles change and cities grow. Flowers have an important part in J&K because of their aesthetic value in decorating homes and in social events such as weddings, social gatherings, and funerals.

In the current context, the floriculture business has emerged as one of the most popular startup ideas. The economy has suffered a severe dip as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and many employees have lost their employment. Still, a large number of unemployed teenagers are looking for any unique company concept that will provide them with a source of income. This type of business has huge potential to survive and grow and prove mettle in the competitive environment.

Floriculture is a fantastic opportunity for anyone who loves gardening and wants to put their heart and soul into it. It is possible to get profitable financial results by operating a flower farming business or startup. Technical knowledge is not required for people interested in starting a floriculture business. Having the basic knowledge about floriculture and other simple concepts concerning running a business would be enough to commence this business anywhere in India.

Floriculture has been nurtured as a money-making Agri-business inside India’s geographical limitations.

Floriculture includes

  • Annual, biennial & perennial ornamentals, such as cacti as well as other succulents
  • Trees
  • Shrubs
  • Bromeliads
  • Lawn and ornamental grasses
  • Bamboos
  • Climbers
  • Bulbous plants
  • Orchids
  • Foliage
  • Bedding
  • Pot and house plants
  • Palms
  • Cycads
  • Cut and loose flowers seed
  • Bulb production of ornamentals
  • Fillers
  • Ferns
  • Dried flowers or plant parts
  • Other value-added products such as edible pigments, extraction of essential oils & their marketing, as well.

Steps for Floriculture Startup

Floriculture Startups Kashmir

Developing your Startup Business Plan

  • Before initiating any business, you must fabricate a sound business plan.
  • You must acquire cooling equipment such as a freezer to keep your flowers fresh and beautiful and increase their shelf life as the life span of flowers is otherwise small.
  • You must also examine the manpower requirement that you might demand to design the floral arrangement and for the delivery purpose as well.
  • Either you want to proceed ahead for a franchise or source to commence your business like flower companies or florists.
  • There is no need for proper mentoring before initiating the floriculture business, as this is all about basic knowledge, and no bookish concepts can help you develop your potential to run this business.
  • Create a well-structured plan before stepping ahead for starting a floriculture business in India. You may open your shop in your locality.
  • If you are planning to transform your dream into reality, you would have to pen down your thoughts on paper and do proper planning before going ahead.
  • Prepare the idea concerning the capital requirement for the floriculture business.
  • Check out the crucial factors, such as the floral delivery platform to give the finishing touch to your business plan.
  • You may also evaluate the staff requirements that you would have to prepare and leap forward to the floral arrangement plans and deliveries.

Government Programmes and Schemes

The Department of Agriculture and Cooperation, which is part of the Ministry of Agriculture, is the nodal institution in charge of floriculture development. It is in charge of developing and implementing national policies and programmes targeted at attaining rapid agricultural expansion by maximising the country’s land, water, soil, and plant resources. A thrust area for support is the production of cut flowers for export. The Agricultural and Processed Food Products Export Development Authority (APEDA), the nodal institution for promoting agri-exports, including flowers, has launched several programmes aimed at boosting the country’s floriculture exports. These include infrastructural development, packaging, market growth, airfreight subsidies for the export of cut flowers and tissue-cultured plants, database upgrades, and so on.100% Export Oriented Units are also eligible for incentives such as duty-free capital goods imports. Import duties on cut flowers, flower seeds, tissue-cultured plants, and other items have also been decreased. The installation of walk-in cold storage for export production has been permitted at international airports. At many international airports, initiatives have been initiated to aid exporters by offering cold storage and cargo handling facilities for perishable products. In cold storage units, a direct subsidy of up to 50% is also available. APEDA also provides a subsidy on improved packaging materials to encourage their use.

NABARD is offering financial support to hi-tech units at reasonable interest rates to encourage entrepreneurship in the floriculture sector. The government has launched several schemes to promote and develop the floriculture sector, including “Integrated Development of Commercial Floriculture,” which aims to improve traditional flower and cut flower production and productivity through the availability of quality planting material, as well as the production of the off-season and high-quality flowers through protected cultivation., improvement in post-harvest handling of flowers and training persons for scientific floriculture. Many state governments have established distinct ministries to promote floriculture in their jurisdictions.

The floriculture business is a great option for those who get fascinated and lured by the mesmerising beauty of flowers. It’s a business that holds immense potential in the current scenario. It provides an opportunity for the youth to take up floriculture as a startup and begin their journey of profitable business in Jammu and Kashmir. By gearing for this innovative business. By spreading joy and fragrance in people’s lives.

An agri-business expert, Naveed Bhat is the business development analyst at Innovation & Entrepreneurship Cell, SKUAST-Kashmir

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