Hyderabad: The Sheep distribution scheme is all set to hit a new milestone, completing distribution of 90 per cent units to beneficiaries in the State. As against the target of 3.65 lakh sheep units proposed for distribution in the first phase, officials have completed distribution of nearly 3.22 lakh units comprising around 67.7 lakh sheep and are gearing up to cross the 90 per cent of their total target by Dasara. Each unit comprises 20 sheep and one ram.
In addition, the sheep distribution has crossed the 10,000 units mark in the second phase of the scheme with around 10,313 units distributed to shepherds since its launch in July this year.
Chief Minister K Chandrashekhar Rao vision of economic empowerment of the Golla-Kuruma community in the State has borne fruit given the increase in the sheep population. In addition to the existing sheep population of about 43 lakh, sheep population is estimated to have crossed 1.02 crore in the State under the sheep distribution scheme alone. In addition to around 67.7 lakh sheep distributed, more than 34 lakh lambs were born from the sheep distributed till date, creating a wealth of around Rs 1,350 crore for shepherds in the State.
Sheep scheme a runaway hit
Within a year of launching the sheep distribution scheme in June last year, the Telangana State government has distributed about 60 lakh sheep to 2.85 lakh beneficiaries at an expenditure of Rs 3,565 crore till June end this year. As on October 9, nearly 3.22 lakh sheep units have been distributed at an estimated cost of Rs 5,000 crore. The highest number of sheep numbering around 23,864 units were distributed in Nalgonda district against target of 32,350 units in the first phase.
“Sheep distribution was implemented for a total 3.65 lakh beneficiaries in first phase in two spells over the past year and half. The second phase of sheep distribution was launched in July this year with a target to cover 3.6 lakh beneficiaries,” an official from the Animal Husbandry Department told Telangana Today.
The second phase was launched in the districts where cent per cent of distribution was achieved in the first phase. Under the second phase, about 10,313 units of 3.6 lakh units have already been distributed till October 10.
Each unit comprises 20 sheep and one ram which are being distributed at a subsidy of 75 per cent. Every sheep distributed to the beneficiaries has been insured and in case of their death, insurance claims are being paid within stipulated time. To provide better healthcare to the animals, about 100 mobile veterinary clinics are working in complete coordination with each other.
Due to effective implementation of the sheep distribution scheme, consumption of domestically raised sheep has increased. The daily imports of sheep from neighbouring States to the State has come down from about 500-550 truck loads to 100 truck loads now. The officials are planning to make the State self-sufficient by stopping meat import from other States and instead, start meat exports to neighbouring States.