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11 Jul 2016 | News

Angora Rabbits Improving Livelihoods in Pakistan

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An Angora rabbit farming pilot initiative was launched as a high value livelihood source for marginalised communities, particularly women in mountain areas of Pakistan, with the support of the International Centre of Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD) and Pakistan Agricultural Research Council (PARC). The pilot was initiated in 2010. PARC established its first model Angora rabbitry  at the National Agricultural Research Centre (NARC) by importing 25 white Angora rabbits from Kathmandu, Nepal.  Now NARC rabbitry maintains up to 200 Angora rabbits including three coloured breeds — German Angora, French Angora, and Himalayan Angora, covering jet black, brown and grey colours. PARC conducted a successful assessment of Angora rabbit farming in Pakistan under various ecological conditions to developing an Angora rabbit up-scaling package for the mountain communities in Pakistan.

To date, PARC has distributed dozens of Angora rabbit units (4 females and 2 males per unit) among the women farmers in Azad Jammu & Kashmir (AJK), Murree hills of Punjab and Hazara Division of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KPK). With the technical support of PARC, the government of KPK established another Angora rabbitry at Livestock Experimentation Station (LES), Jaba, District Mansehra to meet the Angora rabbit units demand from the mountain parts of KPK. PARC recently announced a supply of Angora rabbit units to further strengthen local livelihoods in the ICIMOD project area in the Upper Indus Basin — Upper Gojal, Gilgit as well as to Forest, Wildlife and Environment Department (FWED), Skardu, Baltistan.

PARC has made progress on value chain development of Angora wool and has successfully introduced different market products like Angora yarn, threads, Angora shawls, socks, etc.

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