Moo-ve Over Obstacles: 24-year-old civil engineer builds dairy haven start up

Meandering through thick apple farms, a long serpentine road from south Kashmir’s Shopian town leads to sleepy Chillipora village.

At the far end of the village stands a newly constructed concrete shed housing a dairy farm. As soon as one enters the shed, one could be welcomed by the lowing of cows. The farm has been set up by Ishrat Jan, a 24-year-old woman from the village.

After completing her diploma in civil engineering from a government polythene college in the neighbouring Anantnag district, Jan immediately thought of starting her business.

In outlying villages like Chillpora, people are usually unaware of the schemes and incentives offered by the government for the promotion of entrepreneurs. Jan, however, had read online about the National Rural Livelihood Mission (NRLM) spurring her to approach some officials at the district headquarters.

“I not only received guidance but also significant financial assistance to set up a dairy farm,” said Jan.

She applied for an Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS) and established a dairy unit in September 2021.

“I purchased  5 milking cows under the scheme and received a significant subsidy from the Department of Animal  Husbandry”, said Jan. She said that she did not face any difficulty in completing the paperwork.

Under the IDDS,  the beneficiaries are not only provided financial assistance but also offered vital support to procure high-end equipment like milk machines at a 50 percent subsidy.


Over the last few years, the dairy sector has undergone a significant transformation, creating job prospects and facilitating the growth of commercial farming.


Scores of young women like Jan availed of these schemes to earn a decent livelihood and make substantial contributions to increase milk production in the region.

Jan’s diary unit produces at least 100 to 125 litres of milk per day.

“We also collect milk from other farmers in the village,” she said.  According to Jan, her monthly turnover is over 80,000 thousand.

” We have also set up an Automatic Milik Collection ( AMC) centre to check the quality of the milk,” she said.

The quality of milk is determined by several factors with fat components and solid-not-fat ( SNF) content being the crucial components.

“These factors are rigorously tested to establish the quality of milk, which in turn decides the prices”, said Jan.

The milk produced by the unit goes to the Milk Bulk Cooler (MBC) installed by Jammu and Kashmir Milk Producers Cooperative Limited ( JKMPCL) in Bundzoo and other villages.

” The payment is usually made within 10 days”, said Jan.
She said that it was better for her to start her own venture than to wait for a government job.

“Dairy farming is a lucrative business and there is hardly any dearth of buyers”, Jan said.
She said that in a district like Shopian with a high demand for milk, dairy farming provides a viable

option for earning a decent livelihood.

According to recent data, Ganderbal and Shopian recorded the lowest production of milk with 96.37 thousand tonnes and 72.96 thousand tonnes annually, respectively.

An official told Greater Kashmir that IDS has revolutionised the dairy sector with farmers getting substantial benefits.

“ We encourage farmers to avail the subsidies under various schemes available with the government to earn their livelihood”, he said


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