A Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) student from north Kashmir’s Baramulla district has turned to sheep farming and turned it into a profitable venture.
Syed Sariah, a Kalantra Bala resident, did his basic schooling from Tyndale Biscoe and Mallinson School, Tangmarg. Later, he passed 12th from Higher Secondary School Batamaloo, Srinagar with a medical stream.
In 2018, Sariah completed his B.Tech in civil engineering from Kurukshetra University, Kurukshetra. When he came back to home, the first decision he took was sheep farming which was already in his mind. Finally, he decided to venture into sheep farming in 2019.
“I choose the path of agri-entrepreneurship instead of looking after jobs both in the private and government sectors. I was already interested in sheep farming since 12th class,” he said.
Sariah took a loan of Rs 15 lakhs from Jammu & Kashmir Entrepreneurship Development Institute (J&KEDI) with a subsidy of Rs 2 lakhs. He constructed a shed in his apple orchard and brought 100 sheep.
With this step and four years of hard work, he has become an inspiration for the unemployed youth in his vicinity. Today, he has 80 sheep and he keeps selling to local markets. Annually, the young sheep rearer earns Rs 5 lakh in a year and it keeps fluctuating.
Son of a government employee, he said the Sheep Husbandry Department also takes sheep from his farm when any new entrepreneur starts sheep framing.
Sariah said when he started sheep farming, many people including his close ones used to taunt him. However, he continued to work hard and did not lose hope.
“Rearing sheep or sheep farming is a noble procession and it has many economic benefits,” he said.
Few days ago one his video, in which he is seen rearing sheep in the orchard field, went viral on social media and he has been appreciated by netizens, civil society and youth.
Sariah said his family has been very supportive since he started the business. During summer months, he sends the sheep to highland pastures. “I am very happy and satisfied. I do not listen to what people say,” he said.
He has named his farm as “Hill Top Sheep Farm”. The youth has also created a YouTube channel on the same name and wants to inform sheep farmers about sheep rearing, the associated diseases and how to improve it further.
Amid the rising unemployment, sheep farming is gaining popularity among youth who are starting their units to rear sheep for mutton which has a huge market here.
Regarding organic sheep farming, he said it has the opportunity to get a good premium price and is economically viable. “It encourages me to do more hard work. Farming or sheep farming is an excellent example for any financial security,” he said. (RK)