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Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme transforming rural landscape of J&K

Last Updated on March 23, 2022 at 7:04 pm

With focus of Jammu and Kashmir government to ensure farmers income gets doubled by 2022, as envisioned by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, dairy farming is thriving across the Union Territory.

Centrally sponsored Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme (DEDS), is one of the pioneer initiatives, which is transforming the rural landscape of J&K.

The scheme is being implemented through NABARD with an objective to promote setting up of modern dairy farms for production of clean milk, encourage heifer calf rearing, bring structural changes in the unorganized sector and generate self-employment.

Being an agrarian region, Jammu and Kashmir’s agriculture sector contributes 16.18% to its GDP, of which, 35% is contributed by the Dairy Sector. The scheme is giving huge fillip to dairy development in the UT with socio-economic condition of people witnessing a huge turn around.

The special initiative of the J&K government towards easing out departmental schemes in the dairy sector witnessed gradual shift as more than 10,000 new dairy units have been set up in the past two years, Principal Secretary, Animal and Sheep Husbandry, Navin Kumar Choudhary had said at the inauguration of Pashudhan Vyapar Mela.

Jammu and Kashmir government is promoting DEDS to create self-employment and build infrastructure for dairy sector in the UT so that the socio-economic health of the rural population improves.

According to officials of Animal Husbandry, the scheme also promotes heifer calf rearing for development and conservation of good breeding stock keeping in view the future of healthy livestock.

The government, under the scheme, is also promoting the unorganized sector in bringing milk processing at the village level for better returns to the farmers by employing modern tools and technology. The scheme also provides an increase in the bargaining power of farmers to sell their products by doing value addition to milk via production and processing of milk products.

The scheme also encourages the J&K youth to set up the latest dairy farms for clean milk production and upgrade traditional technology to handle milk on a commercial scale, an official of Animal Husbandry said. He added that the scheme has attracted thousands of youth to start dairy entrepreneurship due to its lucrative assistance from the government viz subsidy and ease of sanctioning the benefits of the scheme.

According to the scheme, farmers, individual entrepreneurs, NGOs, companies, pensioners, groups of unorganized and organized sectors including Self Help Groups, dairy cooperative societies, milk unions, milk federations are eligible to take benefit of the scheme. The scheme also reads that an individual will be eligible to avail assistance for all the components under the scheme but only once for each component.

“More than one member of a family can be assisted under the scheme provided they set up separate units with separate infrastructure at different locations. The distance between the boundaries of two such farms should be at least 500m,” the scheme reads.

According to funding pattern of the scheme, Entrepreneur contribution (margin) would be 10 % of the outlay (minimum), back ended capital subsidy would be 25% for general and 33% for SC/ST. Besides, effective bank loan balance portion is minimum of 40% of the outlay and repayment period will depend on the nature of the activity and cash flow and will vary between 3 to 7 years. Also, grace period would be of 3 to 6 months in case of dairy farms and up to 3 years for calf rearing units.

The unemployed youth who are not defaulters of any bank or financial institutions can apply for the scheme along with photocopy of ration card, land papers for a mortgage if loan amount exceeds Rs.1.00 lakh, photocopy of category certificate, if any. Besides, candidates with a degree certificate of BVSC & AH can also apply for Mobile/Stationery Veterinary Clinic.

The components of a unit that can be funded under the scheme included establishment of small dairy units with crossbreed cows/graded buffaloes up to 10 animals ( Rs 5 lakh) while minimum unit size is 2 animals. “Rearing of heifer calves crossbreed/graded buffaloes up to 20 calves (Rs. 4.80 lakh) and minimum unit size is 5 calves.

For purchase of dairy processing equipment for manufacturing of indigenous milk products Rs 12 lakh subsidy can be availed under the scheme. Similarly, for establishment of dairy product transportation facilities and cold chain Rs 24 lakh can be availed. The scheme also reads that for setting up of cold storage facilities for milk and milk products Rs 30 lakh can be availed. Besides, Rs 2.4 lakh would be provided for establishment of private veterinary clinics and Rs. 1.80 lakh can be availed for mobile veterinary clinic under the scheme. For setting up of stationary clinic and dairy marketing outlet/dairy parlour the scheme will provide Rs 56,000.