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The Andhra Pradesh government is planning to launch a Dorper Crossbred Pilot project for 15,000 sheep improve the socio-economic status of the sheep growers of Anantapur district in the state.
The suggestion was made by the state Chief Minister Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy during brief review meeting with the minister and officials of the Animal Husbandry department and representative of Asad Farms from Anantapur district at the state secretariat.
Evaluating the proposal for 1.5 lakh AI Dorper Crossbred sheep project estimated to cost Rs 17 crore--including cost of production of the lamb, feed up to six months and insurance premium—the Chief Minister proposed to first take it up as a pilot project with a 10 per cent sheep and investment. The pilot project with a 15,000 Dorper Crossbred sheep would cost the state an estimated Rs 1.7 crore.
The expected lamb weight of Dorper Crossbreed of six months age will be 25 kg at a market value of Rs 2,000 compared to non-descript lambs weighing only 15 kg at six months of age costing Rs 1,095.
The project aims at crossing breeding of local, non-descript sheep of Anantapur district with Dorper, a South African sheep breed imported from Australia for improved performance. This will ultimately improve the socio-economic status of the sheep growers of Anantapur district.
Anantapur being backward and ranks second in sheep population with 19 lakh sheep needs encouragement in livestock sector. The state government hopes that the proposed project will help to increase the income levels of sheep growers by adopting Dorper crossbreeding.
The Dorper sheep is well adapted to varied climates, able to thrive in harsh conditions, multiple births common with high lamb survival. It is also non-selective grazers and are fast growing with rams weighing 90 to 120 kgs and ewes weighing 50 to 80 kgs.
It may be recalled here that the government had constituted a technical committee to study and report on the proposal under the chairmanship of Special Secretary with N Ramakrishna Reddy. The committee had proposed to implement the programme with 1.5 lakh Dorper Crossbred sheep for one year period for which results will be available in 23 months time. —iGovernment Bureau