Jammu- The Jammu and Kashmir administration has declared Jerri settlement in Reasi district as the first 'milk village' of the Union Territory and sanctioned 57 more dairy farms under the Integrated dairy development scheme (IDDS) for the hamlet, officials said.
The milk village, which houses 73 individual dairy units with 370 cows, will give financial security to the local farmers, they said.
Taking a lead to carving out a hamlet of dairy farms, the women of the settlement have formed a cooperative of 11 females for collecting milk from the dairy farms and households for further transportation to the milk selling plants or other establishments.
"We have carved out this village into a dairy or milk hamlet, as local farmers of DC Reasi inspect dairy farms," a local farmer Dheeraj said.
After being declared as 'milk village', a total of 57 units have been sanctioned under the IDDS for the village, Agriculture Department officials said.
Under the integrated dairy development scheme, dairy units of five animals are provided with a 50 per cent subsidy.
The scheme also has a provision for milking machine, bulk milk cooling unit at 50 per cent subsidy (maximum Rs 5 lakh), paneer making machine, khoya making, Dahi making, cream separator, ice cream making machine, butter and ghee making machine (max subsidy Rs 3. 5 lakh), milk van (maximum subsidy Rs 2 lakh), milk ATM subsidy of Rs 5 lakh, they added.
The District Development Commissioner (DDC) Reasi Charandeep Singh reached out to the hamlet to interact with farmers and also inquired about the income status and turnover of their dairy units.
He asked them to encourage fellow farmers for opening more such units for handsome earnings, as this will also resolve the issue of unemployment.
The hamlet saw the formation of one cooperative of 11 women for collecting milk from the dairy farms and households for further transportation to the milk selling plants or other establishments, they said.
"More such cooperatives in the village will be set up to ensure collection of the milk by the cooperatives and its further transportation to the milk selling establishments thereby completing the supply chain," a senior official said.
In December, the administration declared the Jerri hamlet as a milk village.
Naveen Choudhary, Principal Secretary in the Agricultural and Animal Husbandry Department, lauded the launch of the milk village, terming it as a major economic reform by the locals.
The milk village, which houses 73 individual dairy units with a total of 370 cows, would give financial security to local farmers, he said.
Choudhary said that the establishment of the milk village and its eventual success would attract many others to launch similar units in their larger interest.
Timely support and subsidies by government agencies have immensely helped farmers in establishing such self-employment ventures to earn their livelihood with dignity, he noted.
The principal secretary also called for increasing the average size of a dairy unit besides asking dairy farmers to form their farmer producer organisations that can transform their lives towards a bright future.
He also directed the Animal Husbandry department to provide a refrigerated van to these farmers on a 50 per cent subsidy.
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