Principal Secretary,Animal/ Sheep Husbandry & Fisheries departments, Navin Kumar Choudhary reviewed performance of the Animal Husbandry department under various schemes at a meeting held here the other day.The meeting was attended by Director Animal Husbandry Jammu, Ms Vivek Sharma; Mission Director Dairy development J&K, Pankaj Katoch; Director Planning Animal/Sheep Husbandry deptt; Joint Director Farms; Joint Director Poultry & Chief Animal Husbandry Officers of Jammu division.The Director Animal Husbandry Kashmir Ms. Purnima Mittal and other Kashmir based officers attended the meeting through video conferencing.The Principal Secretary laid stress on the enrollment of 100% farmers under KCC & implementation of Atma Nirbhar Bharat for doubling of farmers’ income.He also exhorted upon the officers to achieve the assigned targets in full and remain connected with the farming community.Later, the Principal Secretary conducted an extensive tour of various field centers and interacted with the dairy & poultry farmers.He visited Cattle & Buffalo Breeding farm of A.H. Department at Pouni-Chek, which is spread over an area of about 144-Kanals, mainly used for Cattle & Buffalo breeding & for fodder production. He took a round of the farm premises and appreciated the practices being adopted for rearing & management of Sahiwal cattle & Murrah Buffalo in the said farm.Afterwards, he visited some schedule tribe pockets in the area and took first hand appraisal about the impact of various departmental activities/ schemes as well as the difficulties being faced by them. During the interaction with these farmers, Principal Secretary informed them about the benefits of KCC Dairy scheme & directed the concerned field functionaries to visit their habitations for undertaking enrolment exercise on a mission mode. The farmers urged Principal Secretary to take notice of government rates fixed for milk selling, which they said is not in tune with the production costs thereby jeopardizing the interests of the farming community. The Principal Secretary assured them early redressal in this regard.The Principal Secretary also visited a prominent dairy in Mandal Block of Jammu district and interacted with the progressive dairy farmers of the area. He laid emphasis on setting up of milk processing plants; creation of FPOs in order to derive maximum benefits out of the recently launched “Integrated Dairy Development Scheme”.He also made them aware about the value addition of milk and advised them to set up milk vending machines in their areas of operation for better returns. He also deliberated upon the issue of huge imports of milk & milk products, poultry & feed into the state and exhorted upon these progressive farmers to set up huge dairy farms and make state self sufficient.During their discussion with the visiting officers the dairy farmers highlighted the problem being faced by them at Lakhanpur in the transportation of the dairy animals from the neighbouring states.Responding to the issue, Pr. Secretary issued on the spot directions to the concerned department to frame SOP for addressing this issue immediately. They also suggested that “cattle Mandis“ on the analogy of Punjab be created in the J&K & also revise the ceiling on cost of animals under livestock insurance scheme.In the evening, he visited horticulture nursery at Garhi Purkhoo & appreciated the working of the horticulture Department.On his last leg of tour, he paid a visit to a private Poultry farm at Marh and was apprised of the various challenges confronting the poultry industry. He exhorted upon the poultry breeders to go for modernization of their farms in light of government’s latest Poultry Policy.During the tour he was accompanied by Director Animal Husbandry Jammu, Director Agriculture Jammu, Director Horticulture Jammu, Mission Director Dairy Development J&K, Joint Director farms, Joint Director Poultry, other departmental officers and prominent Kissan leaders.