DEHRADUN: The Uttrakhand government has found a novel way to check the migration of people from the hills: Goat Valleys.
At least five ‘Goat Valleys’ across the hilly areas of the state for goat rearing are being planned by the Uttarakhand state animal husbandry department.
The selected places are Someshwar of Almora, Pindar and Garuda of Bageshwar, Agastyamuni of Rudraprayag district and Thalisain of Pauri districts.
Saurabh Bahuguna, the minister for animal husbandry, Uttarakhand told The New Indian, “The Goat Valleys will be developed in the hills of Uttarakhand. Goat rearing will generate employment which can, in turn, help in checking migration. There is a lot of potential for goat rearing in Uttarakhand. The department has decided to develop five valleys as Goat Valley. This will boost both employment and tourism.”
The state government will provide 25 goats to farmers and will help them with vaccination and other medical assistance needed for successful rearing.
“Goat cheese, milk and meat from the hills are in high demand and we want to help farmers to market these products on national and international platforms,” added the minister.
Goat’s milk is rich in pre-biotic, anti-infection and anti-oxidants. It is also recognized as a product to increase platelets during dengue outbreak.
Last month, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, in a meeting of the Rural Development and Migration Commission, instructed to rename it as ‘Migration Prevention Commission’ and to implement recommendations of the commission to check migration and encourage reverse migration.
A recent joint survey by state rural development department and migration commission revealed that more than half-a-million people have left villages of Uttarakhand in search of better life in the last decade of which more than 50 per cent left in search of better livelihood options.
The report revealed that in the last10 years, more than five lakh people have left the villages in the hill state of which 42 per cent belong to the age group of 26-35 years.