There was huge response from the farmers to the ‘Gokulam’ scheme launched by the government in June 2018.
The Animal Husbandry Department had received more than 67,000 applications seeking approval to set up mini-Gokulams that comprise two, four or six heads of cattle.
The government targeted to encourage the establishment of 8,000 mini-Gokulams to promote the dairy sector under the livestock-related projects of the MGNREGS.
Under the scheme, it was announced that 90% of the cost would be met under the employment guarantee scheme and the remaining 10% by the beneficiary.
As per the statistics, Srikakulam district topped with the highest number of 11,071 applications and Guntur, with only 1,310 applications, was at the bottom.
Of the total number of 67,526 applications received, technical sanction was accorded to 57,243. Of these, 55,004 were given administrative sanction.
However, as on date, only 199 mini-Gokulams were set up, 188 of them in East Godavari district alone, with a total investment of ₹2.82 crore. The other 10 were in Guntur (1), Visakhapatnam (2) and Vizianagaram (7) districts. Work is in progress in respect of 37,140 mini-Gokulams.
The huge response later prompted the government to issue a G.O. revising the beneficiary contribution.
When contacted, Director (Animal Husbandry) G. Somaskeharam said, “The beneficiary contribution has been increased to 30%.”
Apart from mini-Gokulams, the government also proposed to help the farmers in setting up Gokulams (community animal shelters comprising 20 heads of cattle). These ‘animal hostels’ were sought to be set up on the government / community lands. The scheme aimed at providing a common shelter to the animals of the identified beneficiaries.