With an aim to double farmers’ income by 2022 while also focussing on improving the socio-economic condition of people, the government is working on several schemes on dairy development in Jammu and Kashmir to lift the rural economy and improve livelihoods.
Being an agrarian region, the agriculture sector contributes 16.18% to J&K’s GDP, of which 35% is contributed by the Dairy Sector.
Dairy is one of the most important sectors and the vast population living in rural areas relies on dairy and livestock for their livelihood. Therefore, improving the position of the dairy sector in J&K is directly proportional to improving the socio-economic condition of people.
Since the launch of ‘Operation Flood’ in 1970 which transformed India from a milk-deficient nation into the world’s largest milk producer, White Revolution is gaining momentum in the whole of the country and J&K is also marching on the path.
Hand Holding for Small Scale Dairy Farming
Majority of the dairy producers in J&K are small holders having 2-3 animals, while the UT is producing 70 lakh liters of milk per day.
To increase production, the production government has started several schemes like dairy entrepreneurship development scheme (DEDS) which focuses on setting up small dairy farms. And in this scheme 15000 dairy units of two cows each will be distributed as a special package for Jammu and Kashmir. Government is also working on cooperatives, as it helps to make milk production profitable with Jammu and Kashmir milk producers cooperative limited (JKMPCL) is also working to raise the capacity from 50,000 LPD of milk production to 3 lakh LPD.
Integrated dairy development scheme (IDDS) is another scheme which not only focuses on providing financial assistance, but also supporting the dairy producer by providing milking machine, bulk milk cooling unit at 50% subsidy, paneer making machine, khoya making, dahi making, cream separator, ice cream making machine, butter and ghee making machine, milk van, milk ATM and DG Set.
Several central government schemes are also being implemented like National livestock mission, Livestock health and disease control, Rashtriya Gokul mission (RGM), Kisan credit card (KCC) to livestock farmers, National program for dairy development etc.
First Milk Village
The Jammu and Kashmir administration has declared Jerri settlement in Reasi district as the first ‘milk village’ of the Union Territory and sanctioned 57 more dairy farms under integrated dairy development scheme (IDDS) for the hamlet.
Apart from several schemes, the government is looking at various interventions like genetic up-gradation of cattle, cattle induction, fodder development, milk procurement and processing and health coverage and risk management.
The UT administration under the vibrant leadership of Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha is working tirelessly to improve the conditions of farmers and increase their income and fulfil the dream of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to double the income of farmers by 2022.
Scripting Success Stories
Manzoor Ahmad from Ramban district of Jammu division shifted from running a dry fruit shop to dairy business. Ahmad sells around 200 litres of milk per day. His dream of becoming an entrepreneur was fulfilled with guidance from the Animal Husbandry Department, Ramban.
The department offered him guidance on scientific lines to manage his dairy farm. Starting with four cows at his dairy farm in Bankoot, Banihal but with the help of Animal Husbandry Department the number has now reached to 20 cows for his farm under the Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS).
Hailing from a family with an agricultural background, there has been no looking back for Asiya Bashir who at the very beginning had the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, supporting her family financially.
In the southern district of Kashmir Shopian, Asiya set up a dairy farm under Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS) of the department.
A resident of village Chiraath, Shopian, Asiya is successfully running her farm with 12 cows, of which six cows are giving milk and, according to her, is able to sell 90 to 100 liters per day through Jammu and Kashmir Milk Producers Cooperative Limited.