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70 per cent of Kashmir’s population live in rural areas with an average family income of 5,000 rupees per month (US $67), depending on inefficient cattle for food and income. There is no dairy infrastructure in place to sell products to and the yield rates of the cattle are staggering low. The average number of livestock animals in India is 457 per 1,000 humans whereas in Kashmir it is almost doubled with 882 livestock animals per 1,000 humans. The state lags behind in the production of milk and milk products and livestock is only considered as a means of sustenance. Studies have shown that the main factors behind this are: - High cost of feed - Low yield - Lack of guaranteed income - Lack of milk processing technology - Lack of co-operative network
The Bridge Institute, via the Kashmir Fellowship, has been designed to facilitate a five-day strategy event that will be market-led - setting out new business models which will open Kashmir to the global economy. The outputs of the strategy event will include financing solutions, the marketing plan, the governance and the strategy-into-execution plan. The strategy-into-execution plan will see a governance and management team be recruited to oversee the implementation of the plan. The management team will undergo a significant capacity development process, including leadership, management, marketing, finance, governance and impact assessment. The intended outcome of the above is not only to provide the skills, technique and knowledge to those in a position to effect change, but to monitor and support the ongoing transition of the Kashmiri dairy and horticulture from one of potential to one of fruition.