Jammu, September 17
In an effort to increase the production of world-famous pashmina wool, the administration of Ladakh is taking several measures, including controlling the mortality among pashmina goat kids for which special enclosures are being designed. Pashmina goats are found mostly in areas of Ladakh where low temperature is recorded during most of the months of the year. The quality of wool produced by pashmina goats in Changthang region is considered to be the best.
Yearly Production 50 tonnes
- The pashmina production in Ladakh is estimated to be around 50 tonnes of raw wool a year. The herders receive between Rs 2,600 to Rs 3,000 per kg of raw pashmina.
- After cleaning and de-hairing, this volume reduces to about 20 tonnes but the value increases to Rs 10,000 per kg. Stoles and shawls weighing up to 200 gm fetch Rs 5,000-Rs 10,000.
Ravinder Kumar, Secretary, Animal Husbandry, said an enclosure for pashmina goat kids is being designed and modification made to make it more durable to help it withstand attacks from wild animals and to trap heat from the sun to prevent mortality in the winter months. “The structure, covered with a double-layered polycarbonated sheet to trap heat from the sun, would be installed around two feet deep into the ground and around one foot of the structure would be left open for ventilation,” Kumar said.
Pashmina goat herders from far-off Nyoma and Durbuk have been complaining about the mortality rate among the goat kids for past long time. They also held a meeting with Lieutenant Governor Brig BD Mishra (retd) recently in which the issue was raised.
Dr Mohammad Iqbal, Director, Animal Husbandry, said shortage of feed along with hypothermia were the two main reasons behind the goat mortality in the winter months. He said milk supplements would be provided to the herders to reduce the mortality rate. The administration has given the slogan of ‘Memna Bachao, Memna Badhao’ (save lambs, promote lambs).
Animal Husbandry officials are also set to hold medical inspection of the goat kids in remote areas of the Union Territory.
The administration also sells pashmina goats reared at the government-run farms to farmers after they achieve the age of seven years.
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