June 26, 2018
To increase income opportunities for farmers in the Vidarbha region, export of live sheep and goats will start from the Nagpur airport for the first time this month-end.
“To begin with, a shipment of about 1 lakh sheep and goat will be exported to Sharjah from the Nagpur airport over a period of two-and-a-half months to three months. We expect more exporters to get interested and exports to increase once the route gets firmly established,” said Vikas Mahatme, Rajya Sabha MP from Nagpur, who coordinated the launch of the project, a joint effort of the Multi-modal International Cargo Hub and Airport at Nagpur (MIHAN), Air India, Agriculture Ministry and Commerce Ministry, according to an official release.
The Nagpur airport is equipped with the facilities for loading and quarantine to manage export of the farm animals. Export of sheep becomes necessary for the farmers as there is not much demand in the domestic market for the meat. Once the export grabs the market, prices of meat increase, “more farmers will then start considering sheep and goat rearing as a side business in addition to farming and when there is drought or they are in need of money, they can sell it for cash,” Mahatme said.
“On June 30 the first batch of livestock for export leaves from Nagpur. As per Government census, there are about 11 lakh goats and 45,000 sheep in the region, but the actual numbers could be much more,” Mahatme said.