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Floriculture Startups: Let’s revive the fragrance of Kashmir

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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.

Opportunities

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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Can kiwi cultivation prove alternative to apple production in Kashmir?

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Can kiwi cultivation prove alternative to apple production in Kashmir?

Dhaar Mehak M

Misbah Bashir

The horticulture sector is seen as the backbone of the Kashmir economy steadily replacing the tourism sector in terms of sustainability and future prospectus. Given the environmental feasibility, Kashmir has been identified as one of India’s most dynamic horticulture hotspots. During the final decades of the 20th century, the region of Kashmir has seen a steady shift from paddy cultivation to apple cultivation. For quite some time the output and outcomes from the orchards of Kashmir have been high. This has ushered in a wave of optimism and people have been heavily investing in high-yielding apple varieties. More or less on an annual basis, people have revealed satisfaction with the outcomes.

Can kiwi cultivation prove alternative to apple production in Kashmir?

The year 2022 has been identified as a bumper year of apple production in Kashmir (apart from other horticulture products). The apple blooms in spring were studied and identified by the experts where it was predicted that the year from across the valley was going to deliver a bumper crop. A wave of happiness ad optimism ran in the supply chain from orchardists to the dealers. Given the demand and pricing trends of previous years, the expected outcomes from 2022 were anticipated to surpass the mean value of the previous decades by a double-digit. However, as the output was ready and entered the market, the returning price was the lowest registered in the previous decade. Among many other factors, a predominant factor behind this was the bulk Indian import of Iranian and Turkish Apples that captured the market and wiped out the demand for Kashmiri apples.

Looking through an alternative economic and horticultural lens, the complete reliance on apples as the sole and dominant outcome of the horticulture sector in Kashmir is a risk of putting all the eggs in one basket. The first step to diversification has been identified as a steady production of kiwi fruit. In contemporary times the only state that is producing kiwis in India is Himachal Pradesh. Lately, Himachal orchardists have realized that diversification is important, and the immediate consequence has been a steady shift to kiwi production. The environmental conditions in both Himachal and Kashmir are equally preferable for kiwi production.

Can kiwi cultivation prove alternative to apple production in Kashmir?The plantation season for kiwi trees is February and March, while the irrigation season is May to July. The plantation takes much less land space than the apple trees. Vegetables and other seasonal crops can be grown in-between the kiwi tress. There are no pesticides of any kind needed for kiwi plantations while on the other hand the apples of all types highly rely on a number of pesticides, insecticides and herbicides. This quality makes kiwis organic in nature, better fitting the contemporary market demand. The overall maintenance of kiwi plantations is much easier and cheaper as compared to that of apples. At the same time, the demand and prices for kiwis in the local, national and international markets is much stable as compared to that of apples.

In the first week of November the average price of 18 kgs of Apples in Sopore Mandi peaked at Rs.350 which doesn’t even cover the half basic price of production. Quite contrary to this, one unit of kiwi costs Rs.35 in the local market and one kiwi plant yields 70 kg of kiwis on an average. One kg of dried Kiwis costs Rs.1800 in the market. And the demand for kiwis is very high both in the national and the international markets.

At the moment, SKUAST-K is actively researching in the direction of improvising the kiwi plantation suitable specifically to the Kashmir region. Simultaneously, sale of the kiwi trees is carried-out from time to time. Lately a small number of orchardists from the Baramulla and Sopore area of North Kashmir have been steadily diversifying towards kiwi production. However, during their experimental stages, they are more than happy with their outcomes. The market value of the output has been promising and so is the durability of the output. The kiwi packaging however is different from that of the apple packages and the kiwi farmers of Kashmir complain that at the moment they are not able to find the required packaging solutions.

Can kiwi cultivation prove alternative to apple production in Kashmir?Putting all these factors together, kiwi production can be the next big horticulture venture of Kashmir. Risk minimisation is the first and far most expected benefit from this diversification. If due to some market fluctuations, apples fail to fetch the required price in the market the kiwi market can come to cushion and minimize the damage and losses. The second expected spill-over of kiwi diversification can come in the form of growth in the local corrugated industry. In the present time, the Kashmir corrugation industry mostly specializes in the production of apple boxes. However, with the growth of kiwi production, the corrugation industry will get to diversify and increase its output and employment potential. The cold-store industry of Kashmir is also expected to grow with the growth of kiwi production as the local producers can control the market supplies from time to time in light of the expected profits. The kiwi processing units also have a very high potential of starting up in the region.

 

The authors are affiliated to the Department of Economics, Islamic University of Science and Technology Awantipora & can be reached at [email protected] & misb[email protected]

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Integrated Farming System

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Integrated Farming System

Kupwara woman runs profitable farm business with KVK assistance

Aijaz Ahmad Dar
Kaiser Mohiuddin Malik

Somia Sadaf, a native of Kupwara’s Batargam area has started her own dairy business. Sadaf has 10 Holliston Friesan and Jersey cows, 25 Kanal of irrigation land, and 200 Keystone Golden birds with technical help from Krishi Vigyan Kendra Kupwara. She uses a lawn cutter to maintain her property of land and cows.

Somia has also given instruction in the scientific raising and management of cows. She keeps herself up to date about new technologies regarding the maintenance of her land and the marketing of milk. She receives technical assistance for livestock illness management in order to optimise the production of milk and poultry. KVK continually performs and monitors the vaccination and deworming of animals at her farms.

Integrated Farming System

KVK has provided all assistance necessary to set up vermicompost pits so that cow manure is turned into a more lucrative vermicompost. Red worms have also been supplied by KVK for the pits. For additional revenue creation, KVK has also assisted in establishing 200 Keystone Golden-based backyard poultry farm. She has recently started fish farming under the NRLM. Somia’s farming is the best example of an integrated farming system, which can serve as a model for the rest of the farm women.

She manages to sell 150 kg of milk every day worth Rs 6,000. She collects 150 eggs and sells 100 eggs daily. Her daily poultry revenue is Rs 1500 and her daily net income is Rs 7500.

Her marketing plan includes selling products at Kisan Melas hosted by SKUAST Kashmir or the line departments, as well as supplying milk to nearby hotels and neighbours and eggs to neighbourhood clients.

Over the course of her entrepreneurial venture, her family has consistently supported her.

“Support from the family is highly commendable when it comes to managing and feeding cows,” says Somia.

Her accomplishment is partly a result of Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Kupwara’s ongoing technical assistance and supervision.

She was honoured with the district, state, national level and National Rural Livelihood Mission-related certifications, medals, prizes, nominations, and recognition as a successful woman entrepreneur.

Additionally, she has trained 200 farm women in knitting.

Integrated Farming System

Department of Animal Husbandry, Government of J&K, and Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Kupwara, strengthen and encourage self-motivation in her to set up and run a livestock-based business.

 

Dr Kaiser Mohiuddin Malik is the head of KVK Kupwara and Dr Aijaz Ahmad Dar is an assistant professor of veterinary medicine at the Directorate of Planning and Monitoring, SKUAST-K

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Towards self-sufficiency in animal feed

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Towards self-sufficiency in animal feed

Formulation of area-specific mineral mixture for livestock

Parvaiz Ahmed Reshi

In Kashmir Valley, paddy straw forms the predominant part of fodder available for livestock feeding along with a limited amount of oats and concentrates, causing, therefore, energy, protein, vitamin and mineral deficiencies. Though the deficiencies of energy and protein are rectified by various means, vitamin and mineral deficiencies become more intensified, causing poor production performances in animals and consequently losses to livestock farmers. Moreover, the mineral profile of soils and therefore feeds and fodders grown on such soils vary with topography and therefore is often a region-specific problem, demanding the study of the mineral profile of soils and fodders regionally and production of region-specific mineral mixtures for rectifying such mineral deficiencies in animals.  Further being a hilly region Kashmir valley is geographically different from the rest of the country and mineral mixtures produced elsewhere in the country may not hold good for the valley livestock. Various studies including work carried out by the proposer of this startup have found deficiencies of various macro (Ca, P) and micro (Zn and Cu) minerals in feeds and fodders in various districts of Kashmir valley that necessitate supplementation for optimum production and reproductive performances from animals.

Manufacturing and production of Area Specific Mineral Mixtures (ASMM) to help farmers and entrepreneurs get more production and reproduction performances from livestock and create a meaningful and enduring mineral mixture production technology for the benefit of livestock farmers in Kashmir Valley who by virtue of its topography is geographically different (Hilly temperate) from rest of the country (Tropical) was an uphill and an achievable target. An attempt was made in this direction and a specific mineral mixture based on the mineral profile of soil, composite fodder and blood of the livestock being reared in Ganderbal district was formulated

Towards self-sufficiency in animal feed

Baseline study

A baseline study regarding mineral profile of soil, composite fodder and blood mineral profile was conducted in the target area and the data generated was analysed statistically as shown in table 1 to 4

 Table 1: Mineral content of soil in different geographical regions of Ganderbal district (N=125)

  Minerals (ppm)
Critical level (ppm)/Topography Ca

(100)

P

(10)

Mg

(9.1)

Zn

(0.60)

Cu

(0.20)

Fe

(2.0)

 

Hills(60)

% deficiency

Plains(65)

% deficiency

Mean conc.

 

141.50a±4.56

13.33

165.74b±5.79

9.23

154.10±3.86

 

10.71a±0.69

60.0

18.98b±0.82

9.23

15.00±0.66

 

16.49a±0.69

6.67

21.01b±0.71

0.0

18.84±0.53

 

0.84a±0.03

15.0

1.11b±0.07

6.15

0.98±0.04

 

0.63a±0.03

0.00

0.80b±0.04

0.00

0.72±0.02

 

36.66a±1.29

0.00

46.54b±1.37

0.00

41.80±1.04

Overall      %deficiency 11.20 33.60 3.20 10.40 0.00 0.00

Means having different superscripts in a column differ significantly (P≤0.05)

aCritical level=concentration below which the levels are considered as deficient, that is 100 ppm (Jackson, 1973) for calcium,10 ppm (Naskar et al., 2003) for phosphorus,9.1 ppm (McDowell et al., 1983) for magnesium, 0.60 ppm (Takkar and Randhawa, 1978) and (Arora and Sekhon, 1981) for zinc, 0.20 ppm for copper and 2.0 for iron.

 

Table-2: Mineral profile of composite fodder of Ganderbal district (N=125)

Topographical region

 

 

Macro minerals (g %) Macro minerals (ppm)
Ca P Mg Zn Cu Fe
Hills 0.42a±0.02 0.18a±0.01 0.23a±0.00 14.68a±0.57 11.50a±0.37 206.65a ±4.50
Plains 0.90b±0.06 0.29b±0.01 0.25b±0.01 12.49b±0.62 14.47b±0.47 282.77b±6.85
District average 0.67±0.04 0.23 ±0.01 0.24 ±0.00 13.54 ±0.43 13.04 ±0.33 246.23 ±5.37

Means having different superscripts in lower case in columns rows differ significantly (P≤0.05).

CC*= critical blood level as given by Radostitis et al. (2000).

Table-3: Plasma Mineral profile of cattle in district Ganderbal

Minerals (CC*) Topo. Region Physiological status
Milch cows Pregnant cows Dry cows Calves Overall Mean
 

Calcium (%)

(<9.0)

Hills 8.25bc±0.10 8.66c± 0.12 7.97b± 0.18 7.36a±0.22 8.15±0.08
Plains 8.66ab±0.08 9.25c± 0.08 8.35a± 0.13 8.85b±0.25 8.71± 0.07
 

Phosphorus (%)

(<4.0)

Hills 4.34c ±0.08 4.05c± 0.10 3.74b± 0.10 3.24a±0.12 3.99±0.06
Plains 4.53ab±0.07 4.77b± 0.10 4.34a± 0.08 4.47a±0.08 4.52± 0.04
 

Magnesium (%)

(<1.5)

Hills 1.79±0.03 1.78± 0.04 1.69± 0.05 1.76±0.06 1.76±0.02
Plains 1.88±0.04 1.86± 0.06 1.91± 0.04 1.91±0.06 1.89± 0.02
 

Zinc (ppm)

(<0.60)

Hills 0.53± 0.01 0.54± 0.01 0.55±0.01 0.55±0.01 0.54±0.00
Plains 0.57b± 0.01 0.53a± 0.01 0.58b± 0.01 0.57b±0.01 0.56± 0.01
 

Copper (ppm)

(<0.60)

Hills 0.64b± 0.01 0.64b± 0.01 0.62b± 0.01 0.59a±0.01 0.63±0.00
Plains 0.65ab±0.00 0.63ab±0.01 0.64b± 0.01 0.61a±0.01 0.64± 0.00
 

Iron (ppm)

(<1.20)

Hills 2.82b± 0.06

 

2.85b± 0.07

 

2.68b± 0.08

 

2.12a±0.15 2.69±0.05
Plains 2.68b± 0.05 2.99c± 0.07 2.78bc±0.06 1.96a±0.19 2.66± 0.05

Means having different superscripts in lower case in columns rows differ significantly (P≤0.05).

CC*= critical blood level as given by Radostitis et al. (2000).

Based on the mineral profile of soil, composite fodder and blood, the Area specific mineral mixture was formulated.

Table-4: Area specific mineral mixture for livestock based on mineral profile of soil, composite fodder and livestock blood of the operational area

Mineral salt percentage
Dicalcium phosphate 51.0
Limestone phosphate 32.0
Magnesium Oxide 10.0
Zinc sulphate 4.0
Copper sulphate 1.2
Iron sulphate 0.75
Magnesium sulphate 0.82
Potassium iodide 0.12
Cobalt sulphate 0.085

 

Outcome

The formulated mineral mixture was distributed among farmers belonging to Lar, benhama, Arch, Malpora and Nunner for feedback with respect to the milk and reproductive performance. Also the mineral mixture was kept available for sale among farmers at the university seed mela for the 4 consecutive years and farmers were questioned for the milk and reproductive performances.  A common questionnaire was developed for the purpose using simple language acceptable and easily filled by the team leader of the farmers and information with respect increase in milk production, health status, and reproductive efficiency was collected. Based on the feedback received, It was roughly concluded that there was increase in milk production, reproductive efficiency (conception rate) and income generation of the farmers. This can be verified from the fact that the formulated mineral mixture is in great demand and the farmers have been repeatedly asking and purchasing the product. the product is popular among farmers and adoption rate is increasing day by day.

Towards self-sufficiency in animal feed

The author acknowledges the support from the Directorate of Research, SKUAST-K, Division of Animal Nutrition, Krishi Vigyan Kendra-Ganderbal and the line departments in making the programme smooth and successful is highly appreciated and duly acknowledged.

The author is an Assistant Professor of Animal Nutrition at Mountain Livestock Research Institute, SKUAST-K. He can be reached at [email protected]

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