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Arid Regional Campus (ARC), Bikaner

The Arid Region Campus (ARC) of the ICAR-Central Sheep and Wool Research Institute was established in 1974 as Division of Carpet Wool and Karakul Pelt Production at Bikaner. The campus is located at 28° 18' 0" N (28.3° N) latitude and 73° 30' 0" E (73.5° E) longitude at 236 meters above mean sea level in the heart of Thar Desert. The average rainfall is low (250 mm) and erratic. The temperature varies between sub zero (-2°C) during winter and high (48°C) during summer. The campus is conducting research on genetic improvement of Magra, Marwari and Chokla sheep breeds of arid region suitable for carpet wool production. Research on grassland improvement, nutrition, sheep diseases, wool processing and quality evaluation is being conducted at the campus. The centre has 636 hectares of land, overlooks the ranges of sand dunes, pasture dominated with sewan (L. Sindicus) and dhaman (C.Ciliaris) and various diversified grasses and trees of arid nature. About 50 hectares area is under irrigated crop cultivation and horti-crop system with facilities of three tube wells and canal water. The campus provides best genotype of Marwari, Magra and Chokla sheep to farmers on book value for genetic improvement of sheep. In span of 43 years of functioning, ARC made efforts earlier for improvement of pelt production from karakul and its crosses and later on carpet wool production of indigenous sheep. Administration cum laboratory complex has facilities of sheep health lab, wool testing lab, central lab, library, computer section with NKN/NIC and conference hall. The outdoor venues consists farms of Marwari, Magra and Chokla sheep, recently established A.I. lab, Feed Technology unit and Technology Park. The centre is working with following objectives: • Genetic improvement of Magra, Marwari and Chokla sheep for carpet wool, production. • Feeding strategies for sheep at different physiological stages and scarcity period. • Training and extension programme for farmers and entrepreneur to outreach the benefits of research to sheep owners.