To check migration, enhance farmers’ income, Uttarakhand government to provide them sheep | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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To check migration, enhance farmers’ income, Uttarakhand government to provide them sheep

dehradun Updated: Nov 14, 2017 20:55 IST
Deep Joshi
A federation of 500 cooperative societies of sheep and goat farmers will be formed to implement the project.

A federation of 500 cooperative societies of sheep and goat farmers will be formed to implement the project.(HT FILE)

To check forced migration from border areas, the Uttarakhand government will soon launch an “ambitious” project to enhance income of marginal farmers by providing better breeds of sheep .

“Small and marginal farmers in border areas will now be provided better quality of sheep. Organic mutton and wool the animals will produce will fetch high market price to marginal farmers ,” cooperatives and animal husbandry secretary R Meenakshi Sundaram told HT. “The project will help enhance income of farmers, which will help check forced migration from the fast emptying out border areas.”

Under the centrally funded scheme, farmers will be provided all facilities so that they get fine quality wool and organic mutton from the sheep they will be provided. “The scheme will soon be launched as a pilot project for which border areas of Bhatwari in Uttarkashi and Kapkot in Bageshwar are selected,” he said. “Once the project succeeds, it will be replicated in other border areas where goat and sheep rearing is the main source of income.”

The state government will facilitate the scheme under the Integrated Cooperative Development Project, an offshoot of the National Cooperative Development Corporation. “We chose to introduce the scheme because the state has a sizeable chunk of people who prefer a non-vegetarian diet,” Sundaram said. “Sheep and goats are hardy animals that can easily survive in high-altitude areas.”

A federation of 500 cooperative societies of sheep and goat farmers will be formed to implement the project. “As part of the project, 100% herd replacement will be ensured in Bhatwari and Bhatkot where the project will be launched soon.“All farmers there will be provided better quality of sheep that generate organic mutton and quality wool.”

A slaughter house each equipped with state-of-the-art facilities will be set up in Garhwal and Kumaon. “As per the plan, some 300 sheep would be slaughtered in each abattoir so that mutton is available in bulk to meet the market demand both within the state and outside. “At a later stage, organic meat will be exported to other countries.”

“We will purchase sheep from farmers for meat production. Besides, a proper anti-mortem and post-mortem inspections will also be carried out to ensure the meat is completely organic.”

Sundaram said the government will also have the sheep meat certified as organic meat. “There should be no difficulty in that because sheep in high altitude graze on open pastoral land where no chemical pesticide or fertilizer is used.” Stall feeding of sheep will not be allowed. “Besides, precaution will be observed to ensure that sheep are not injected with antibiotics or hormones.”

The quality sheep will generate “fine quality wool which is used” in preparing woollen clothes. “Besides, farmers will be provided machines so that they are able to carry out a close shearing of sheep to get the best wool.”