SRINAGAR, Mar 7: Kashmir has a great potential in animal farming as climate and topography of Kashmir suits the rearing and farming of livestock and this sector is being one of the rapidly expanding having significant importance in development of rural economy.
Amid the problem of unemployment, one can easily earn his livelihood from farming like poultry farming, sheep farming, sericulture, fisheries and generate the employment opportunities not for only himself or herself but for others too.
In Kashmir, more than 50% of meat consumed is imported from the outside States and as per data available in 2018 the state of Jammu and Kashmir spent about rupees 2000 crore to import meat and poultry. Thus the large part of economy of Jammu and Kashmir is taken away by the other states in view of very high demand for animal products like eggs milk and meat in Kashmir.
Various state based and the central sponsored schemes like Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (DEDS), Poultry Venture Capital Fund (PVCF) and Rural Backyard Development Scheme (RBDS) for BPL families implemented through NABARD with the objective to promote setting up of modern dairy farms for production of the animal products and generation of the self employment.
Under these schemes a financial assistance is provided upto 30 lakh for establishment of a small dairy farm to full-fledged cold storage facility for milk and milk production with back ended capital subsidy of up to 25% for general category and 33% for the SC/ST and the repayment period is upto seven years.
Kashmir valley being a high altitude area is very most favorable for livestock farming as there are huge areas of grasslands which can be utilized and used for rearing of sheep.
Important to mention, the animal Husbandry department has assisted in the establishment of sheep and goat farms in private sector under the central and the state sponsored schemes. During last four years 1343 sheep and goat farms, units were established under various schemes resulting in the provision of the employment to large number of youth.