As the Central Sheep and Research Institute at Mannavnur near Kodaikanal is planning to take up major research work for increasing the population of Bharat Merino and Avikalin variety sheep whose wool is used for jackets, overcoast and carpets.
Senior scientist A S Rajendiran said that they sought Upgradation of laboratory facilities and latest equipment for large-scale breeding of Bharat Merino sheep, as it was necessary to maintain the grazing area of the sheep.
If the government helped improve the infrastructure facility at the institute, it will reflect in the sheep breeding, and all the states across the country would be benefitted.
If they are able to produce more male sheep, the population of Bharat Merino and Avikalin sheep would automatically go up across the country.
The Institute now has 82 Avikalin sheep and they planned to bring 300 more such sheep from Rajasthan.
Besides 500 Bharat Merino sheep were being reared at the Institute. This variety is a cross breed of indigenous Chokla and Nali sheep with Rambourillet and Merino Rams.
The male sheep yields four kg of fur while the female sheep three kg.
The Institute had approached textile mills to make woollen items like shawls locally in the state and was willing to help self-help groups if sufficient funds were made available to them for marketing the woollen yarn.
Referring to breeding of giant rabbits, he said that it has come to a halt following a government ban on the activity some years ago. Now there are about 100 giant size rabbits at the institute.
Presently, the lab was facing frequent power cuts without a proper Transformer close to it. In fact there was not even central government auditing of the laboratory since 1997.
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