The Department of Animal Husbandry has geared up for mass de-worming of goats and sheep, which were distributed under the Chief Minister’s free scheme to landless poor farmers in rural areas, on July 7.
As the ‘Scheme for Distribution of Priceless Goats and Sheep’ is being swiftly pursued in Madurai district, the department officials have worked out an action plan to cover all components of the scheme, including the health of sheep and goats, fodder and allocation of funds for required equipment.
“This is a flagship scheme of the Chief Minister and we are carrying out distribution in villages since its launch in September last year. During the year 2011-12, 12,892 goats and sheep were distributed in the district at a cost of Rs. 4.11 core. The number of beneficiaries was 3,223 in 64 village panchayats,” I. Chinnathurai, Joint Director in-charge, Department of Animal Husbandry, Madurai district, has said.
Talking to The Hindu on Tuesday, he said that the mass de-worming would be carried out by the veterinarians in villages itself.
After de-worming, the intake of fodder by the animals will be more. Most of the beneficiaries had received goats under the scheme. Each beneficiary would receive either four goats or sheep (three female and one male) and the State government was spending Rs.12,750 for each beneficiary, including insurance cover for the animal.
Dr. Chinnathurai said that 541 kids were born to the 12,892 sheep and goats distributed in the district during 2011-12. This fiscal, 4,849 beneficiaries in 92 villages in the district would be covered, the cost being Rs.6.18 crore.
Two fodder development schemes with good subsidy component — State Fodder Development Scheme, and Accelerated Fodder Development Project — were being implemented in hundreds of acres of land earmarked in the district.
“Since the cost of feed for goats and sheep should not become a burden for farmers, we are paying attention to fodder development schemes. The State and Central governments are taking steps to meet the shortfall in fodder grass requirement. In Madurai district, 400 acres of land was allotted for fodder development under irrigated condition,” he said after visiting T. Mettupatti on Palamedu-Vadipatti road on Tuesday.
The Animal Husbandry Department also extended support for fodder seeds, ploughing, manure and fertilizers, weeding and purchase of grass cutters. About Rs.2,500 was being given per beneficiary per unit, which was 0.25 acre.
For 2012-13, the department was planning to add 600 acres of land for fodder development under rain-fed condition.
Beneficiaries should not sell the animals for two years. “Those who receive sheep and goats will come out of the poverty bracket if they maintain the animals well and make use of subsidy schemes. Special health card had been given to the beneficiaries and veterinary assistant surgeon will do the vaccination and de-worming of animals,” he said.
The selection of beneficiaries was done in a fool-proof and transparent manner through the gram sabhas as per stipulated norms by forming a seven-member panel, including the village president, deputy block development officer and veterinary surgeon.
The sheep and goats were being distributed only to women members in family and the beneficiary list must be approved by the Collector, he said.
Meanwhile, the veterinarian at A. Vellalapatti near here has said that instructions were given to mobilise the sheep and goats to the camps on July 7.
In Madurai district, there were 61 veterinary dispensaries and hospitals under the Animal Husbandry Department, and qualified veterinary assistant surgeons and seniors had been posted.
A special training and orientation programme was under way here for new recruits, Dr. Chinnathurai said.