With the aim of doubling farmers’ incomes by 2022 while also focusing on improving the socio-economic status of the people, the government is working on several dairy development programs in Jammu and Kashmir to boost the rural economy and improve livelihoods.
Being an agrarian region, the agricultural sector contributes 16.18% to J&K’s GDP, of which 35% is contributed by the dairy sector.
Milk is one of the most important sectors and the vast population living in rural areas depends on dairy products and livestock for their livelihood. Therefore, the improvement in the position of the dairy sector at J&K is directly proportional to the improvement in the socio-economic condition of the people.
Since the launch of “Operation Flood” in 1970 that transformed India from a milk-deficient nation into the largest milk producer in the world, the White Revolution has been gaining momentum across the country and J&K has been marching also on the way.
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 the establishment of 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) which is also striving to increase milk production capacity by 50 000 LPD to 3 lakh LPD.
The Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS) is another scheme which not only focuses on providing financial assistance but also supporting the dairy farmer by providing milking machine, bulk milk cooling unit 50% subsidy, paneer machine, khoya making, dahi making, cream separator, ice cream machine, butter and ghee making machine, 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 declared Jerri settlement in Reasi district as the first “dairy village” in the union territory and sanctioned 57 other dairy farms under the Integrated Dairy Development Scheme ( IDDS) for the hamlet.
Besides several programs, the government is considering 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 Ramban’s livestock department.
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 Scheme (IDDS).
Coming from a family from an agricultural background, Asiya Bashir has never looked back who had at the very beginning the idea of becoming an entrepreneur, supporting her family financially.
In Kashmir’s southern Shopian district, Asiya has set up a dairy farm under the department’s Integrated Dairy Development (IDDS) scheme.
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.