Youth need to seek dairy farming as means of livelihood
Jammu and Kashmir is an agrarian region, the agriculture sector contributes 16.18 per cent to the UT’s GDP, of which dairy sector constitutes more than one-third. This implies that the region offers huge scope for promotion of various other related activities as well.
As most areas in Jammu and Kashmir are hilly and also have abundant water resources which help the local vegetation to grow in abundance, the lush green cover offers a tremendous scope for the dairy and other related activities which can flourish here and help in generating employment opportunities.
Dairy is one of the most important sectors and the vast population living in rural areas relies on dairy and livestock for their livelihood. Therefore, improving the position of the dairy sector in the region is directly proportional to improving the socio-economic condition of people.
This is reflective of the various success stories one hears about self help groups and small entrepreneurs who have carved out a niche for themselves in the dairy farming sector.
Since the launch of ‘Operation Flood’ in 1970 which transformed India from a milk-deficient nation into the world’s largest milk producer, White Revolution is gaining momentum in entire India and J&K too can contribute its bit.
What needs to be looked into is that the majority of the dairy producers here are small holders who are relying on fewer animals and sell their produce in an unorganized manner. Though at present the UT is producing 70 lakh liters of milk per day, but this landmark is falling short of the potential the region otherwise offers.
Since the union government is working on an ambitious plan to double farmers’ income over a period of time, the dairy farming sector can prove as a game changer in Jammu and Kashmir. For ensuring this dream to turn into a reality the various schemes like dairy entrepreneurship development scheme (DEDS) which focuses on setting up small dairy farms should be made available to the entrepreneurs with least hassles being faced by them.
The government also needs to ensure that cooperative movement is strengthened in Jammu and Kashmir and milk production becomes a profitable activity. The farmers or the fresh breed of entrepreneurs needs handholding so that their produce ends up with a co-operative society with no middlemen involved.
This will ensure timely returns to the producers and a guarantee that their produce does not go waste.
Since the milk consumption is increasing with every passing day consumers too are on the lookout for quality products as people across the spectrum have become health conscious and want the best returns for the money they spend.
In short the dairy activity needs least inputs and can offer a wonderful return not only for the people at large but the government as well as the industry can serve as one of the biggest revenue generator.