SRINAGAR: The Tribal Affairs Department (TAD) and Central Wool Development Board (CWDB) Ministry of Textiles Government of India (GoI) have finalised a project aimed at benefitting nearly 30,000 tribal sheep-farming families over a period of three years.
Under the project the sheep farming families will be provided skilling, financial assistance, infrastructure and marketing support.
Secretary TAD Dr Shahid Iqbal Choudhary and Executive Director, CWDB Ministry of Textiles finalised the project components after detailed deliberations between deptt and the board.
The proposal of TAD being supported by the CWDB includes establishment of two Common Facility Centres (CFC) at an estimated cost of Rs 10 crore Cr. “One CFC each in Jammu and Kashmir provinces will be equipped with state-of-the-art machinery for wool sorting, processing, grading and packaging,” the official handout reads.
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 2.00 Cr have been included in the project which will be provided to tribal Farmer groups. Each group will be provided machinery upto Rs 3.00 Lakh.
Establishment of wool mandis 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 networks.
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 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.
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,” he said.
The TAD has already provided 20,000 sheep to tribal farmers over the last year and half under specific intervention through mini Sheep Farms through Sheep Husbandry department.
“Apart from expanding the sheep population the deptt is focusing on marketing of wool to ensure an organised market for optimum returns to sheep farmers,” the handout reads, adding that the trainings will be conducted by Tribal Research Institute in collaboration with Universities and institutes of excellence in sheep husbandry sector.
The project is being launched from October 2022.