Programme rolled out for 1500 mini Sheep Farms for tribal areas Scheme to benefit 12000 tribal youth: Dr Shahid

SRINAGAR : The Tribal Affairs Department has rolled out plan for establishment of 1500 mini Sheep Farms during current financial year. Selection of beneficiaries has been initiated for establishment of 750 farms in 13 districts under Phase-I of the scheme. The scheme was announced by Lt Governor Sh Manoj Sinha last week as flagship initiative for tribal welfare.

Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary informed that the ambitious plan for establishment of 1500 sheep farms was planned recently and the scheme has been rolled out with active role of Sheep Husbandry Department J&K. The scheme is being implemented in two phases with 750 units each. The farmers selected under the scheme will also be provided skill development for livestock product management and access to various schemes.

Dr Shahid informed that department is also planning establishment of larger sheep farms with 200 animals per unit and encourage establishment of Farmers Produce Organisation for institutional incentives.

Government is awaiting marginal tribal farmers to establish their own mini Sheep Farms with an aim to generate employment and supplement the meat and wool production as well as value addition of livestock product and market linkages. J&K has tremendous potential in meat industry and wool processing which is being harnessed by tribal affairs department by initiating a network of tribal youth across all districts to become suppliers of livestock as well as to establish a value addition chain with focus on wool processing. Mission Youth has been roped in for skill development Trainings and establishment of wool processing units.

The mini Sheep Farm Scheme has been rolled out by tribal affairs department in collaboration with Sheep Husbandry Department under which there will be 20% addition of units every year beginning from third years of the scheme rollout. It is aimed to provide gainful employment to more than 12000 youth in next three years. A budget of Rs 1500.00 Lakh has been earmarked by the tribal affairs department for the current year which also includes sheep farming in model villages.

The scheme guidelines issued by the department lay a focus on migratory tribal population, women and youth. A special component has been reserved for the population migrating to highland pastures during summers and villages having sufficient grazing lands are being mapped for Micro level planning to prioritise establishment of larger sheep farms.

Mission Youth will provide skill development services for selected tribal youth at district level and also establish processing units for wool. Meanwhile efforts are being made by the department for market linkage of products for which process has also been initiated for an MoU with TEIFED under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs Government of India.

Director Tribal Affairs, Mushir Ahmed Mirza, Director Sheep Husbandry Jammu, Krishan Lal, Director Sheep Husbandry Kashmir, Bashir Ahmed Khan, Jt Director Planning, TAD Shama un Ahmed and districts officers are a part of inter-sectoral coordination working to turnaround the meat and wool production by providing gainful employment to tribal youth.