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Integrating Sheep Development Scheme to Give Boost to Animal Husbandry Sector in J&K

The Jammu and Kashmir government started the Integrated Sheep Development Scheme in 2020 with an aim to promote the establishment of sheep and goat units in the union territory. A budget of around Rs.10 crore has also been set aside for the initiative.

Ayushi Raina
The Jammu and Kashmir government started the Integrated Sheep Development Scheme in 2020 with an aim to promote the establishment of sheep and goat units in the union territory
The Jammu and Kashmir government started the Integrated Sheep Development Scheme in 2020 with an aim to promote the establishment of sheep and goat units in the union territory

Animal husbandry, a sector of agriculture, has become an enticing industry in Jammu and Kashmir due to its high-profit potential and low investments. The Jammu and Kashmir government started the Integrated Sheep Development Scheme in 2020 with an aim to promote the establishment of sheep and goat units in the union territory.

A budget of around Rs.10 crore has also been set aside for the initiative. The residents of Chhapar village in Udhampur's Jaganoo block have already begun to reap the benefits of the scheme and are reaping huge profits. 

According to one of the beneficiaries, "The Animal and Sheep Husbandry Department gave us 10 goats in addition to the 10 we already had. We are making a lot of money from it, and we already have about 60-70 goats. Every year, we are able to sell around 2-2.5 lakh ghee. We've also received ewes and lambs from the department. We are very happy to do this work."  

The village people are procuring sheep and goats under this scheme, which is also in line with PM Modi's mission of doubling farmers' income. 

"The scheme includes around six sheep and goat units in Jaganoo block. Earlier, people here had to migrate to cities for employment but now with the help of government schemes, they are reaping huge benefits.   First, it has reduced migration, and second, it has enhanced people's interest in the livestock industry "Dr. Vikrant Raina, a veterinary assistant at the Animal Husbandry Department in Udhampur's block Jaganoo, stated. 

Raina further said that the scheme helps to achieve Prime Minister Modi's vision of doubling farmers' income by augmenting the income of farmers create that they generate by practicing agriculture. 

We also provide breeders with livestock dosing, deworming, and dipping on a timely basis. In addition, we vaccinate the livestock against several diseases regularly. If a problem emerges or a disease epidemic occurs, we provide breeders with all necessary assistance so that they suffer minimal loss and produce maximum income, allowing them to further expand their business," he added. 

Despite having enormous potential and a favorable environment for sheep and goat rearing, Jammu and Kashmir were still facing a significant gap between demand and supply of mutton. 

However, since the implementation of the Integrated Sheep Development Scheme, mutton production has increased by nearly 12 lakh kgs. It has also proven to be a life-changing scheme for breeders, as they now have access to superior quality breeds that produce enough wool and mutton, Raina said. 

The Integrated Sheep Development Scheme is an innovative government program designed to augment and complement existing and new animal husbandry schemes in the Union Territory and the Centre. The scheme provides beneficiaries with a total of 25 sheep or 10 goats free of cost. 

According to the Sheep Husbandry Department of Jammu and Kashmir, 921 sheep and goat units would be established under the scheme by the end of March 2022, giving direct employment to 5,954 persons in the state. 

And then from the third year of establishment, the Animal and Sheep Husbandry department retrieves five or two female sheep or female goats from each beneficiary for the next five years till the livestock is fully retrieved. 

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