Sheep prices hit the sky

Sheep prices hit the sky
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Highlights

Telangana government’s ambitious sheep rearing programme, which aims to distribute 40 lakh livestock to Yadav and Kuruma communities this year, has led to steep hike in sheep prices in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh.

Prices nearly double in AP, Karnataka & Chhattisgarh

Hyderabad: Telangana government’s ambitious sheep rearing programme, which aims to distribute 40 lakh livestock to Yadav and Kuruma communities this year, has led to steep hike in sheep prices in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Chhattisgarh.

District Collectors, who were entrusted with the implementation of this programme, had made some enquiries during the month of March to find out the prevailing market rate so that they can prepare plans accordingly. But, following the government announcement, the officials to their surprise found that there has been sudden escalation in sheep prices.

According to sources, officials from Nalgonda and Mahbubnagar district who visited Chhattisgarh recently were shocked to discover that the price of a two-year old sheep weighing around 10-12 kgs which was Rs 4,000 in March has now been hiked to Rs 7,500. Similarly, in Andhra Pradesh the prices of Nellore brown, Jodipi and Palla breeds had increased to over Rs 8,000 from the earlier price tag of around Rs 6,000.

Chittoor district-based Chintaladevi lamb farm in-charge Ramesh Naik told The Hans India that while it was a fact that officials from Telangana had enquired about the price of the sheep, the increase in price can also be attributed to the equally high demand for meat in Tamil Nadu and parts of Karnataka.

“With more people shopping for sheep it is natural that middlemen will emerge and the prices would escalate accordingly,” he said. Suggesting that the Telangana government can purchase the sheep at affordable prices if it sources the sheep directly from sheep farmers, he said: “Otherwise also the price of a two-year sheep is around Rs 7,000 in these parts.”

According to officials there has been some decline in sheep supply for the purpose of meat from Karnataka, particularly from Bidar, Gulbarga, Raichur and Bellary during the last two weeks.
Commission agents and middlemen are luring the farmers with high prices and have created artificial scarcity in the market.

When contacted, State Animal Husbandry Minister T Srinivas Yadav admitted that artificial scarcity of sheep has been created and prices were hiked in the neighbouring states due to increased demand from Telangana under sheep distribution programme. Collectors brought this problem to the notice of the Chief Minister during a recent conference.

Efforts are on to buy sheep at stipulated prices with the help of the respective state governments. The minister said the Telangana government will pursue the issue with its counterparts in these states and also local sheep rearing associations to prevent the role of middlemen.

It may be mentioned here that under the scheme, each beneficiary would be allotted one unit comprising 20 female sheep and one ram (male). The government has targeted to benefit 4 lakh families this year. The estimated cost of the each unit is Rs 1.25 lakh. The State government would bear 70 per cent of the total cost of the unit and the remaining will have to be borne by the beneficiary.

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