Under the new policy, 2000 new start-ups will be set up in Jammu & Kashmir in the next five years in order to nurture and inspire entrepreneurial talent of J&K by creating a vibrant and robust start-up ecosystem in the UT.
Sheep-farming: In a significant development, Tribal Affairs Department (TAD) and the Central Wool Development Board (CWDB), Union Ministry of Textiles have finalised a project aimed at benefitting nearly 30,000 tribal sheep-farming families over a period of three years by providing them with skill, financial assistance, infrastructure and marketing support. The project will be launched from October 2022.
Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and Executive Director, CWDB, Ministry of Textiles, finalised the project components after detailed deliberations. Secretary, Tribal Affairs Department, Harun Malik, Director, Tribal Affairs, Mushir Ahmed Mirza, Joint Director, Planning, Shama-un-Ahmed, Deputy Director, TRI, Dr Abdul Khabir, Deputy Director, TAD, Kashmir Dilshada Akhter and senior officers were present in the meeting.
30,000 sheep-farming families
The proposal of the Tribal Affairs Department being supported by CWDB includes the establishment of two Common Facility Centres (CFCs) at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore. One CFC each in Jammu and Kashmir will be equipped with state-of-the-art machinery for wool sorting, processing, grading and packaging.
TAD is rolling out a plan to train nearly 30,000 tribal sheep farmers in mechanised sheep shearing which will lead to increase in wool production, improvement in quality of wool and reduced cost of shearing. Mechanical shearing units worth Rs 2 crore have been included in the project which will be provided to tribal farmer groups. Each group will be provided with machinery up to Rs 3 lakh.
The establishment of wool markets at three locations and more than 40 centres for wool collections and transit support have been approved under the project. Other components include the market intervention and support scheme as well as development of a portal for expanding wool sale network. Farmer Produce Organisations and SHGs are to be constituted under the project to avail benefits under various components of the project.
Dr Shahid Choudhary, in a detailed presentation, shared the huge potential of tribal wool as sheep population of nearly 25 lakh migrating to highland pastures and in the absence of value addition and marketing facilities the tribal farmers do not receive attractive returns. Interventions under the project will provide massive opportunities for sale of wool and wool products with direct benefit to the sheep breeders.
Sheep-farming families of J&K
Executive Director, CWDB, Ministry of Textiles, along with Technical Director Anurag Purohit briefed about collaboration between the board and J&K Tribal Affairs Department for effective implementation of the project to cover maximum tribal sheep farmers and specifically the migratory population to improve their economic status. Specific support is being extended for marketing support and value addition.
The Tribal Affairs Department has already provided 20,000 sheep to tribal farmers over the last one and a half years under specific intervention through the Sheep Husbandry Department. Apart from expanding the sheep population, the TAD is focusing on marketing of wool to ensure an organised market for optimum returns to sheep farmers. The training will be conducted by Tribal Research Institute in collaboration with universities and institutes of excellence in the sheep husbandry sector.