Srinagar, Jan. 12 -- Unmanaged overgrazing is posing a major challenge to the forest eco-system in Jammu and Kashmir.

Forests are integral to the sustainability of primary sectors of agriculture, horticulture, sheep and animal husbandry, particularly in the hilly areas of Jammu and Kashmir. People in these areas rely heavily on the forests for wood, fodder, food and small timber requirements.

However, heavy grazing pressure on the forest areas has resulted in growth of unpalatable grasses, increased soil erosion and low productivity.

"The annual fodder requirement of J&K is huge. Whereas availability from different sources viz alpine pastures, forest grazing lands, fallow agricultural lands, private lands etc is inadequate thereby leavin...