The scheme will be an annual affair and new sheep farms will be added each year

The Jammu & Kashmir government will roll out an ambitious scheme for the establishment of 1,500 mini Sheep Farms at a cost of Rs 1,500 lakh during the current financial year.

This will provide employment to 3,000 tribal youth, Union Minister for Tribal Affairs Arjun Munda said on Thursday.

"The scheme will be an annual affair and every year Sheep Farms with 33% additional number shall be established," an official release quoted him saying during a visit to Bandipora district as part of the ongoing public outreach programme of the Central Government.

Munda also said that work had been authorised on 16 Milk Villages at an estimated cost of Rs 1,600 lakhs. This would provide employment to around 2,000 youth and establish a network of dairy farms in J&K.

During the visit, Munda inaugurated several developmental projects and interacted with public delegations, members of Panchayat Raj Institutions and political parties besides interacting with youth especially sports persons.

The Union Minister said that the government recently constituted a Working Group for establishment of a Tribal Research Institute headed by the Secretary to Government, Tribal Affairs Department.

This group would take key steps for establishment of TRI museums, cultural centres and also putting in place an administrative framework which will go a long way in preserving the tribal art, culture, tradition, languages, literature; and their promotion.

TRI is also in the process of organising a number of programmes and rolling out tribal fellowship programmes, Munda added.

He said the department has also approved a Rs 300-lakh project for developing Home Stays in 15 villages, providing Rs 20 Lakh per village.

Additionally, youth groups can avail Rs 10 lakh under the Mission Youth scheme of Tourist Village Network. The pilot project is aimed at promoting the tribal way of life and attracting tourists, Munda said.

Later, the Union Tribal Affairs Minister visited SK Stadium Bandipora and participated in sports activities besides inspecting stalls erected by various departments to showcase their performance.