In Changthang, there is a trend towards increasing the livestock population, especially a breed of goat (Capra sibirica) that produces one of the finest natural fibres: pashmina, which is the mainstay of economy of Changpa nomads. The environmental condition of this region suits for the development of pashmina, therefore, these animals are reared in large numbers. Changthangi goats are reared under harsh climatic conditions (−40 to +40°C). Best quality pashmina is produced in this region and is economic mainstay of nomadic people of Changthang. Pashmina fibre is very expensive as it is being used for production of world’s finest shawls. The Changthang region alone produces around 35,000 kg of raw pashmina fibre every year from about 0.15 million of Changthangi goats, which form 80% of the total pashmina production of the country. 90% of the population in Changthang area survives on the income from goat and sheep, which is nearly $8.4 million, annually.
Part of the book: Goats (Capra)