With the aim of doubling farmers’ income by 2022 while focusing on improving the socio-economic condition of the people, the government is working on several dairy development projects in Jammu and Kashmir to boost the economy rural areas and improve livelihoods. Being an agrarian region, the agricultural sector contributes 16.18% to J&K’s GDP, of which 35% comes from the dairy sector. The dairy sector is one of the most important sectors and the vast population living in the rural areas depends on dairy products and livestock for their livelihood. Therefore, the improvement of the position of the dairy sector in J&K is directly proportional to the improvement of the socio-economic condition of the people. The white revolution is gaining momentum across the country and J&K is also marching on the path.
Hand holding for small scale dairy farming
The majority of dairy farmers in J&K are smallholders with 2-3 animals, while UT produces 70 lakh liters of milk per day. To increase production, the production government has launched several programs like the Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Program (DEDS) which focuses on establishing small dairy farms. And in this program, 15,000 dairy units of two cows each will be distributed in the form of special packaging for Jammu and Kashmir. The government is also working on cooperatives as it helps to make milk production profitable with the Jammu and Kashmir Milk Producers Cooperative Limited (JKMPCL) also striving to increase milk production capacity by 50,000 LPD to 3 lakh LPD. Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS) is another scheme which aims not only to provide financial assistance but also to support the dairy farmer by providing a milking machine, a 50% subsidized bulk milk cooling unit, a paneer machine, a khoya maker, a dahi maker, cream separator, ice cream maker, butter and ghee maker, milk van, milk dispenser and DG Set.
Several central government programs are also implemented, such as National Livestock Mission, Livestock Health and Disease Control, Rashtriya Gokul Mission (RGM), Kisan Credit Card (KCC) for herders , the national dairy development programme, etc.
First Milk Village
The administration of Jammu and Kashmir has declared Jerri settlement in Reasi district as the first “dairy village” in the union territory and sanctioned 57 other dairy farms under an integrated dairy development program (IDDS) for the hamlet. In addition to several programs, the government is looking at various interventions such as livestock genetic upgrading, livestock induction, fodder development, milk supply and processing, health coverage and risk management. The administration of UT, under the dynamic leadership of Lieutenant Governor Shri Manoj Sinha, is working tirelessly to improve the conditions of farmers and increase their incomes and realize Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream of doubling farmers’ incomes in here 2022.
Manzoor Ahmad from Ramban district of Jammu division has gone from running a dry fruit shop to a dairy business. Ahmad sells around 200 liters of milk a day. His dream of becoming an entrepreneur came true thanks to advice from the livestock department, Ramban. The department offered him advice on scientific lines to manage his dairy farm. Starting with four cows at his dairy farm in Bankoot, Banihal, but with the help of the livestock department, the number has now reached 20 cows for his farm under the Integrated Dairy Development Program (IDDS). Coming from a family of agricultural origin, there was no turning back for Asiya Bashir who, at the very beginning, had the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, supporting her family financially. In Kashmir’s southern Shopian district, Asiya has established a dairy farm under the department’s Integrated Dairy Development Program (IDDS). A resident of Chiraath village, Shopian, Asiya successfully runs her farm with 12 cows, six of which give milk and she says is able to sell 90-100 liters per day through the Jammu and Kashmir milk producers Cooperative Limited.