Kupwara has recently emerged as a new hub for milk production as Groups of Farmers especially women are coming together to form Self Help Groups. Administrative support is given now to Farmers, women and registration of farmer produce organization (FTO), final support through NABARD, coverage to farmers in Kissan Credit Cards and expansion of benefits under Dairy developmental schemes.
Shaheena Begum Wife of Gh Mohd War started a small group of 30 women in village Harduna of Ramhall with Milk collection of 70 Litres in 2016. The Number of members grew to 150 gradually with 400 Litres of Milk collection by the end of 2018. The group approached Animal Husbandry Department looking for support for scaling up of these enterprise. This was followed by frequent visits of expert departmental teams to the area for training and capacity building of group members, organization of a special Kissan Credit Cards Mela for the members in July 2019 and quick Sanction and disbursal of loans for capital expansion. The Group was supported for registration as a Farmer Producer Oganisation (FPO) with NABARD and Consequently the FPO today has 330 registered members with 10 Quintals of Milk production which is marketed locally.
Sharing her experience, Shaheena Begum states “The initiative that started with a small group has grown into such a large organization with continued efforts of the local women who aspired for economic growth and financial independence. With the continued support of the Animal Husbandry department, availability of equipments like Refrigeration Box, Khoya Making machines and Bulk Milk Coolers through subsidies under Centrally Sponsored Schemes and Finance at reasonable rates, the enterprise has made a mark for itself and has boosted morale of all Dairy Farmers in the area”.
Outcome for the District:
The Milk production in the district has seen a gradual rise to touch 130 thousand tonnes last year. More and more farmers engaged in Dairy farming are now accessing KCC loans to set up dairy units as a viable alternate to traditional farming. A total loan amount of Rs 18.23 Crore has already been released to 6284 Farmers in dairy sector in the last 1 year, which indicates the sector is flourishing at a rapid pace.