Jammu: Dispelling reports that he was dissatisfied with the portfolio allotted to him, separatist- turned-mainstream politician Sajjad Gani Lone on Thursday said he was "honoured" to head the Department of Animal Husbandry.
"It is an honour to head this department. I come from a family which is associated with cattle," Lone said after he stood to reply to the demands of grants under his charge at the Legislative Assembly here today.
Lone said the required evolution in infrastructure has not taken place in the state and the infrastructure that was installed during previous decades catered well to those times but now is outdated.
"The infrastructure which is 30 to 40 years old is not sufficient today," he said.
He said Jammu and Kashmir has ideal climatic conditions, availability of pastures to develop sheep farming, poultry and production of milk and also has a vast network of lakes, water bodies and cold water streams for production of fish, including the world renowned trout.
"The reality is that despite favourable climatic conditions we are importing products worth thousands of crore and if we are able to stop this import, it will be a tribute to this sector and this money will not leave from the state's economy," he said, adding, 30 to 40 thousand people will also get employment.
Lone said the department has existed for about last seven decades but there is a great scope for improvement.
"In the state we have to move to the new stage of economics that will spur growth through import of latest technology," he said.
He said presently major contribution to the state comes through unorganized sector and government infrastructure but it lacks investment from private sector.
"Our mission will be to do some sort of reorganization and restructuring in the department" Sajad said.
"We need to integrate the whole set up right down to the mutton shop and the milk man. We will also be working towards ensuring whether mutton or any other product being sold is fit for human consumption and our department has the resources and the expertize available with it to work on this" he said.