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Today: Jun 22, 2024

ODOP scheme creating employment avenues in diary sector in Rajouri: Govt

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JAMMU: One District, One Product (ODOP), launched by the Union Ministry of Food Processing Industries to help districts reach their full potential, foster economic and socio-cultural growth, and create employment opportunities, especially in rural areas.

The scheme aims to identify, promote and brand a product from one district. The ODOP scheme aims to turn every district in India into an export hub through the promotion of the product in which the district specializes. 

The initiative also plans to accomplish this by scaling manufacturing, supporting local businesses, finding potential foreign customers, and so on, thus helping to achieve the ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ vision.

Under ODOP, Rajouri, a border district of the J&K UT, was chosen as a dairy district due to its enormous potential in the dairy sector. Effective measures are in place to help farmers become self-reliant, and steps are being taken to improve market access.

The Lam area of the Nowshera tehsil produces the majority of the district’s milk, and the people of this area are heavily involved in dairy farming. Although the milk production in this area is very high, the main difficulty that the farmers face is market access, as they have to travel to Nowshera, Sunderbani, and Rajouri to sell their milk and milk-based products.

Sensing the gravity and the commitment of the district administration to provide market linkage, Deputy Commissioner, Rajouri, Vikas Kundal, advised that special camps be organised by the DIC and KVIB Departments in Nowshera to encourage farmers and unemployed youths to set up their own ventures in the fields of milk processing and manufacturing units.

Both departments worked tirelessly to encourage people to start the milk processing and manufacturing units, and one, Punit Sharma, from Nowshera, expressed keen interest in establishing the unit, for which the KVIB and DIC Department provided the necessary financial assistance as well as technical guidance to him.

Puneet Sharma has now established his own milk processing and manufacturing unit in Nowshera, with the active support of the district administration Rajouri and financial assistance from the concerned departments. Now that the unit is so close to the people of Lam, the dairy farmers in the area sell their milk to Puneet Sharma and receive very reasonable prices for their product, removing the farmers’ difficulty in gaining market access.

The majority of farmers in these areas are Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS) beneficiaries besides KVIB and DIC is also playing a major role in raising the socioeconomic status of the farmers.

The majority of milk processing and manufacturing units have been established in urban areas, but because dairy farmers live in rural areas and cannot afford to travel to urban areas daily to sell their milk, there has been a shift in trend, and the government is now focusing on establishing the said units in rural areas for the convenience of the dairy farmers. This will not only mitigate the farmer’s difficulties but also create ample employment opportunities for the unemployed and educated youth.

The dairy farmers of the Lam area have highly appreciated this intervention by the District Administration, stating that their difficulties with market access has been alleviated to a great extent, and now they are getting very good prices for their milk at their doorsteps. They have also appealed to the district administration to keep taking such steps in the near future for their welfare.

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