Hyderabad: The attempts of the state government to increase employment has meant an increase in sheep farming.
The government is placing its biggest ever order to purchase 21 lakh sheep at a cost of Rs 2,500 crore. The sheep will be distributed to the Yadava and Kurma communities from April 1.
Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao is keen on reviving and strengthening caste-based occupations and professions to boost the rural economy. The government's plan is to purchase 81 lakh sheep in two years.
Fodder for such a large number of animals is a major concern. The government has directed officials to search for waste lands and grass lands across the state that can provide the fodder.
Mr Rao has directed officials to submit proposals for sanctioning of `2,500 crore in the ensuing State Budget for purchasing the sheep.
The animal husbandry department had sent 15 teams to tour various states for the purchase of livestock. The teams found the breed in Karnataka, Maharashtra, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to be ideal for rearing in the state.
The sheep may also be sourced from Tamil Nadu, Gujarat, and Uttar Pradesh, given the large numbers required.
Animal husbandry minister Talasani Srinivas Yadav said, “Over 14 lakh Yadava and Kurma families will benefit from this scheme. No state has ever sanctioned such a huge amount to purchase sheep and distribute them among the communities dependent on sheep rearing.”
Mr Srinivas Yadav said that due to the “negligence of previous AP governments, these communities lost their livelihood and migrated to other places in search of work. The Chief Minister is keen to revive this profession which was once famous in the country for sheep rearing.”
81 lakh: Number of sheep government will purchase in two years.
80%: Subsidy component for each unit of sheep.
20: Number of female sheep, and one male, comprise a unit.
Rs 1.40 lakh: The cost of each unit.
25 lakh: Number of members registered with sheep societies.
4 lakh: Number of members to be enrolled.
Rs 2,500 crore: Total cost of the scheme