LIVESTOCK CONCENTRATION AND ASSOCIATION IN HIGHLAND REGIONS: A GEOGRAPHICAL STUDY OF KASHMIR VALLEY
The integration of crops and livestock has always remained a way of life since the beginning of agriculture. It provides the major extra contribution to agriculture through manure as a fertilizer apart from wool, meat, milk and eggs that grant a regular supplementary income and employment not only to producers in the rural areas but also huge size of population engaged in secondary and tertiary sectors of the economy. The Livestock sector has emerged as one of the key components of agriculture in Kashmir Valley in recent years. For a growing human population, the development of livestock sector is indispensable to address the requirement of fat and protein. From a livelihood perspective, livestock is considered as an important instrument in poverty alleviation. The present study has therefore been undertaken to explore the changes in spatial distribution and growth of livestock in Kashmir Valley from 2007 to 2012. An attempt has also been made to study the spatiotemporal changes in the livestock combinations in Kashmir Valley. The study reveals that the population of cattle and sheep has become steadily more important in the livestock economy of the study area during the past decade and show a relatively high growth rate between 2007 and 2012. The goat, yak, buffaloes and equines have recorded relatively low growth rate. The results of livestock combination depicts that more people in Kupwara still practise the traditional system of livestock rearing than in other districts of Kashmir Valley.