DMK govt suspends aseel bird, milch cow schemes, tightens norms for free goats

The Tamil Nadu government is suspending its schemes to distribute milch cows and aseel birds for free in 2022.

Published: 21st April 2022 05:38 AM  |   Last Updated: 21st April 2022 05:38 AM   |  A+A-

Goats being brought to Hyderabad on the eve of Bakrid on Friday | RVK Rao

Representational image | RVK Rao

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The Tamil Nadu government is suspending its schemes to distribute milch cows and aseel birds for free in 2022. It has also been restricting the free distribution of sheep and goats to widows, deserted or destitute women and transpersons from rural areas. 

Implemented by the Animal Husbandry department, the three schemes, which were initiated by the previous AIADMK government, had benefitted about 2.4 lakh families a year from 2012. The State government’s move has now resulted in a Rs 200 crore cut in allocations for the three schemes.

While the State government is narrowing down intended beneficiaries of the free goat/sheep scheme from all landless rural women, it is also attempting to cut costs in the aseel birds scheme by producing the animals through its own entities rather than procuring them from the market. 

Under the free milch cows scheme introduced by the government in 2011, 12,000 dairy farmers received cows at 100% subsidy every year. “This year, the government has suspended the programme,” said a top official from the Animal Husbandry department. Since being introduced, the scheme received an allocation of Rs 43- 45 crore a year. The cows were procured at the market rate of Rs 30,000 and distributed to the farmers. “From next year farmers may get milch cows for free or at a subsidised price,” added the official.

Rs 14.2 cr for chicken breeding complex

While 1.5 lakh landless rural women a year received four/ sheep or goats from 2011-12, for 2021-22 only widows, deserted or destitute women or transpersons from rural areas can avail of the scheme. As a result in 2021-22, only 38,800 beneficiaries were identified under the scheme and Rs 75.63 crore was allotted, show government data.

“Now, the beneficiary will get five sheep/goats instead of four,” said the G.O. The scheme to distribute Aseel birds for free was introduced in 2012-13 and was aimed at encouraging backyard poultry rearing in rural areas. Every year, 75,000 to 77,000 women received 25 native bird chicks for rearing. In 2018-19, the scheme was extended to town panchayats increasing the number of beneficiaries to 2.4 lakh a year. For that year, the scheme was allocated Rs 50 crore.

Officials said the government has now decided to stop the practice of procuring native chicks from the market. Instead chicks will be produced at native breeding complexes and considered for distribution from next year. About Rs 14.2 crore was sanctioned to set up the Native Chicken Breeding Complex at the district livestock complex in Sivaganga, which will supply four lakh chicks a year. Funds have also been earmarked for setting up a similar facility in Tirunelveli with a capacity to produce five lakh chicks a year.


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