White revolution in Kashmir: Milk production increases by 250%; 50,000 dairy units operational

White revolution in Kashmir: Milk production increases by 250%; 50,000 dairy units operational

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SRINAGAR: J&K government has formulated attractive schemes to improve the dairy sector in Jammu and Kashmir which is directly proportional to improving the socio-economic condition of people.

To double the Farmer’s income from dairying, the Administration is working tirelessly to ensure utmost priority is being extended to dairy development in the union territory by way of implementing various developmental schemes, initiatives, and policies, among others.

The integrated dairy development scheme (IDDS) is another scheme that not only focuses on providing financial assistance but also supports the dairy producer by providing milking machines, and bulk milk cooling units at a 50% subsidy. The scheme also includes a 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, for aspiring entrepreneurs who try to create their start-ups in the dairy sector.

With the implementation of prestigious flag-ship schemes — Rashtriya Gokul Mission, IDDS, Dairy Development Scheme (DDS), Feed & Fodder Development Scheme (F&FDS), Animal Husbandry Infrastructure Development Fund, Extension of Kisan Credit Card facility to animal husbandry farmers, Establishment of cluster model milk villages under Tribal Sub Plan, etc, dairying with high yielding crossbred cattle is receiving an upgrade which has created employment avenues, led to entrepreneurship development and thereby generated ample scope for developing the dairy farming on commercial lines as a business enterprise.

It is because of these schemes that milk production in the Valley has increased by over 250% during the last two decades and now there are more than 50,000 successful operational commercial dairy units in the valley. Despite the current urban growth, the dairy sector contributes to the maintenance of safe, resilient, and sustainable rural areas.

From selling dry fruits in a small shop and struggling to meet his family’s needs to running a dairy farm that sells around 200 liters of milk per day, Manzoor Ahmed from Bankoot Ramban district has come a long way as an entrepreneur.

Starting his dairy farm in Bankoot, Banihal with four cows sanctioned by Animal Husbandry Department under the Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS). Ahmed sells around 200 liters of milk per day and records monthly sales of Rs 3 lakh with smart profits and employs four locals at his farm.

He expressed gratitude to the government for providing him with financial assistance to expand his dairy farm. He plans to upgrade his dairy farm and install all machines like a milking machine, milk cooler, ATM milk machine, and a Genset.

The government is also working on cooperatives, as it helps to make milk production profitable. Jammu and Kashmir milk producers cooperative limited (JKMPCL) is working to raise the capacity from 50,000 LPD of milk production to 3 lakh LPD.

Similarly, Tahir Ahmad Rather from the Madar area of Bandipora started a dairy farm in 2020 with the handholding of the Animal Husbandry Department. Today he has eight cows that provide over 90-95 liters of milk daily.

Tahir’s father Bashir Ahmad Rather also manages the farm along with him and they distribute milk across Bandipora, thus catering to the milk requirements of the district’s population.

Narrating his venture’s success Tahir said, “I started this dairy farm in 2020 and it is helping me to earn my livelihood. I am grateful to Animal Husbandry Department, Bandipora who helped me to establish this unit.”

Notably, the Jammu and Kashmir administration has declared the Jerri settlement in Reasi district as the first ‘milk village’ of the Union Territory and sanctioned 57 more dairy farms under the 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, Manoj Sinha is working tirelessly to improve the conditions of farmers and increase their income and fulfill the dream of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to double the income of farmers by 2022.__Courtesy Kashmir Monitor

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