Believe it or not the T elangana government has successfully ear tagged and photographed all the 31.77 lakh sheep procured from the neighbouring States under the Special Package for Sheep Development for the sheep and goat rearers.
Overcoming scepticism and snide remarks not only from the officialdom but also politicians, the Telangana State Sheep and Goat Development Cooperative Finance Limited (TSSGDCFL) has managed to achieve this distinction in less than eight months after the government decided to accord top priority to improve the economic standards of the shepherd community by providing financial assistance to the sheep and goat rearers to start each unit comprising 20 ewes and one ram at the cost of ₹ 1.25 lakh.
“Each ear tag on the sheep has a 11 digit identification number which is affixed at the time of procurement. To make it fool proof, a picture of the sheep is taken and uploaded on the official portal of the department for future purpose and to claim insurance in case it dies,” TSSGDCFL Managing Director V. Laxma Reddy told The Hindu on Wednesday.
The ambitious programme is slowly yielding results after the initial hiccups. The scheme is being implemented with the funds to the tune of ₹ 5,000 crore availed from National Cooperative Development Corporation (NCDC), New Delhi. The government is giving 75 % subsidy to the beneficiaries while each member of the Primary Sheep Breeders Cooperative Society has to pay 25 % of the cost of each unit.
Birth of lambs
As on date, 7,61,895 members have enrolled in the 7,925 societies across the State. These beneficiaries in turn are divided into two batches on lottery basis. The first batch are being covered in the year 2017-18 while the remaining will get the units next year.
Dr. Laxma Reddy said that as on December 12, as many as 1,51,395 units were grounded and 30.27 lakh ewes were procured from Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra.
A positive aspect of the implementation of the scheme is the birth of 12.11 lakh lambs in the last six months. Cost of each lamb is estimated at ₹4,000 and each beneficiary is expected to get about ₹32,000 per unit for eight lambs, Dr. Laxma Reddy said.
A sum of ₹484 crore would accrue to the beneficiaries with the birth of the lambs.
As per the data available with the TSSGDCFL, Nalgonda district leads with 10,530 units comprising 2.10 lakh ewes followed by Jagtial (9,305 units/1.86 lakh ewes) and Sangareddy (8450 units/1.69 lakh ewes) districts. Nirmal, Kumram Bheem Asifabad and Medhcal district rank among the three from the bottom of the table respectively in terms of procurement.