India is the 7th largest producer of wool in the world contributing 1.8 percent to the world’s total wool production. Though the wool producing industry is relatively a smaller sector as compared to cotton or man-made fibre industries, it still plays an important role in the economic development and textile exports of the country.
There are many states in India engaged in the production of wool such as Karnataka, Jammu & Kashmir, Telangana, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Haryana, Maharashtra and Andhra Pradesh. But the state which produces the largest amount of wool is Rajasthan. Rajasthan faces adverse climatic conditions which results in the scarcity of water for the purpose of irrigation and a very low average annual rainfall. These conditions leave less scope for the agricultural activities in the state and hence, the people of Rajasthan shifted to animal husbandry, which contributes considerably to the gross domestic product of the state. The state has 70 wool processing units and produces more than 15 million tonnes of wool every year. Rajasthan represents 30% of the wool production in India.
Rajasthan is ranked third in the sheep population and accounted for nearly 14 percent of the total sheep population in the country. The average wool production in Rajasthan is about 1.12 kg per sheep every year. The state has eight different breeds of sheep that are popular for producing high-quality carpet wool which constitutes 85% of wool produced in the state.
During 2015-16, the wool production in Rajasthan was 13.4 thousand tonne, which estimated 30.73% of the total wool produced in India during the year. A decline of -7.59% in the production of wool was noticed during 2015-16 as compared to 2014-15. In 2016-17, the exports of readymade garments made of wool from India stood at US$ 215.19 Millions.