(NEWS.NINEMSN) — Scientists say they have cloned a rare Himalayan goat in Indian-controlled Kashmir, hoping to help increase the number of animals famed for their silky soft undercoats used to make pashmina wool.

The March 9 birth of female kid “Noori”, which means “light” in Arabic, could spark breeding programs across the region and mass production of the high-priced cashmere wool, said lead project scientist Riaz Ahmad Shah, a veterinarian in the animal biotechnology centre of Sher-i-Kashmir University.

Cashmere wool, particularly made into shawls, is a major source of income for Kashmir, generating about $US80 million ($A76.8 million) a year for the Indian-controlled portion of the disputed mountain state

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