15,000 tribal youth to be covered under Skill development scheme: Dr Shahid


Establishment of 1000 Mini Sheep Farms, poultry farms and milk processing units in tribal areas on anvil

Srinagar: The government has invited tribal youth for various skill development courses and self-employment projects in livestock husbandry and food processing sector with an aim to make Jammu and Kashmir self-sufficient in milk, meat and wool production besides providing employment avenues in remote villages.

The Tribal Affairs department in convergence with Farm departments will provide financial support to tribal youth for skilling, entrepreneurship and employment. The Tribal Youth Skill and Employment Scheme in Livestock Sector envisages a Rs 15 crore plan to be rolled out covering skill development including up skilling, establishment of income generating units, sheep units, establishment of milk chilling plants, milk product management, food processing units, collection infrastructure, milk ATMs, distribution network, wool processing and other profitable enterprises.

Secretary, Tribal Affairs department, Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary, informed this in a meeting held with Director, Tribal Affairs, Directors Animal Husbandry, Jammu and Kashmir, Directors, Sheep Husbandry Department, Jammu and Kashmir besides Chief Animal Husbandry Officers, District Sheep Husbandry Officers and others. He called for formulating plans for district skill and self-employment for providing support to tribal youth in livestock sector.

It was informed that a target of 10,000 youth for skill development for both the departments included 500 youth to be selected in each sector specific to livestock husbandry and livestock product management. The skill development courses will include both offered by departments and also universities, skill development institutions and academies. The skilled youth will be provided financial assistance for setting up of enterprises in the specific sectors.

The Tribal Affairs department has also sought proposals for establishment of 1000 mini Sheep Farms in all the districts of the UT for which an amount of Rs 10 crore will be extended by the government. Likewise, Animal Husbandry department has also proposed setting up of mini dairy farms. Apart from this, departments have also been asked to screen and select 3500 youth from the tribal population to provide assistance for entrepreneurship.

The mini sheep farms are being set up on a cascading mechanism which envisages return of animals in a phased manner after three years upto a succeeding five years time and thereby setting further equal number of sheep farms every year. The department is targeting to establish 12,000 mini sheep farms in next 5 years both with central funding and recycle scheme.

Further, the departments have been asked for initiating work on milk villages in such areas having huge potential of milk production under which such locations would get machinery and equipments along with market linkages. Likewise, establishment of poultry farms and milk processing units will be initiated in proposed areas.

Secretary has asked the departments to issue notification inviting applications for various schemes and select the beneficiaries through draw of lots. He said that a special scheme has been earmarked for nomadic families for which selection will be made from the database generated in ongoing survey being conducted at highland pastures.

Pertinently, the Chief Animal Husbandry Officers and District Sheep Husbandry Officers are working in convergence with Tribal Affairs Department for 5 years perspective plan of skilling, generating employment and increasing meat and milk production.