Lacklustre sales of sheep
Although it is the festive occasion of Dasara, people of many villages in Sangareddy and parts of Medak district are reluctant to buy sheep at cattle markets as they believe that the animals currently on offer could be those that had been given to people belonging to Golla and Kuruma communities as part of the State government’s newly introduced sheep scheme.
Dasara fails to lift
Medak: Although it is the festive occasion of Dasara, people of many villages in Sangareddy and parts of Medak district are reluctant to buy sheep at cattle markets as they believe that the animals currently on offer could be those that had been given to people belonging to Golla and Kuruma communities as part of the State government’s newly introduced sheep scheme.
The widely perceived reason is that many of these sheep, procured from Andhra and Rayalaseema regions, are dying in these villages, unable to cope with the ‘new environment’ in Telangana. Hence, middlemen and beneficiaries are getting rid of the animals at throwaway prices.
That apart, according to officials in the Veterinary Department, medicines meant for goats and sheep are not available in Siddipet, Medak and Sangareddy districts, lending credence to another reason why these animals have been dying. Although Mobile Veterinary Clinics have been launched in some of the revenue divisions, their services are yet to begin in remote villages despite appointment of requisite veterinary staff.
As a result, shepherds are at a loss to know the steps they need to take for proper care of these breeds. Since the animals have been falling prey to diseases, even the beneficiaries prefer to sell them away at weekly cattle markets to middlemen for a song, with the prices being as low as Rs 4,000 for an animal.
On Friday, just a day before Dasara, goats and sheep were being sold by farmers at a cattle market in Vatpally mandal headquarters in Medak district. Noticeably, the goats and rams were being sold for prices ranging between Rs 9,000 and Rs 10,000 each; yet, there were no takers.
Prabhakar, a prospective buyer, told The Hans India that people were wary of being fobbed off with diseased sheep, especially from among those sourced for the ‘Sheep Scheme’.
Another plausible reason for lacklustre sale this year could be the fact that Dasara falls on Saturday -- a day when people normally do not consume meat for religious reasons.
Other sheep sellers in the market were also facing similar situation. However, goats and pottelu (rams) were being sold at fairly good prices (ranging from Rs 9000 to Rs 11,000). Kids were being sold for prices ranging between Rs 200 and Rs 300 in the market.
Recently, around 35 out of 85 sheep distributed under the sheep rearing scheme in Gajwada village of Regode mandal in Medak district died.
The situation is no different in Zaheerabad constituency of Sangareddy district.
According to local villagers, many of the beneficiaries are selling away their sheep for money, though the government scheme is intended to improve the economic condition of the Yadava community.
“Even youngsters who don’t know anything about sheep rearing are being given sheep,” commented a farmer from Madri village of Kohir mandal in Sangareddy district.
By Vivek Bhoomi