Handwara Youth’s Successful Journey into Sheep Farming. An Inspiration for Kashmiri Youth

JAVID AHMED
3 Min Read

Nouman Dar is a young person from Handwara village in north Kashmir’s Kupwara District. He is a successful sheep farmer who has overcome many obstacles in his life. Nouman Dar is a resident of Herpora, Handwara and his success in sheep farming is due to his hard work and dedication in the field of sheep farming without any external assistance.

His journey started from the auction that was held at Masjid. He stumbled upon an exciting auction for a ram. Without a word to his family, Noumaan got into the bidding frenzy and won the sheep for Rs. 6000 with the help of the Masjid Committee. Noumaan is a graduate of Government Degree College Handwara. His dream of economic independence and entrepreneurship drove him relentlessly. Despite his friends’ skepticism, his love for sheep farming never wavered and today he stands as an example of triumph of passion, perseverance and the pursuit of one’s dreams. His elder brother Advocate Abdul Rashid Dar, who is also a Public Prosecutor, supported him and provided him with financial support. He started with only one ram, however in the years that followed, his livestock multiplied and now he owns over fifty sheep. In the past, Noumaan kept a variety of sheep, including Hampshire sheep, Corriedale sheep, Kangdi sheep and Merino wrinkled sheep, Kashmiri sheep and Karakul sheep. However, with his experience, he found that only Kashmiri and Corriedale sheep were the best varieties due to the weather conditions in Kashmir, and these two varieties also provided the best meat quality.

Noumaan’s neighbours have also taken inspiration from him and over thirty families are now involved in sheep farming. Noumaan, a trained football coach, never wanted to work in the government. He had a strong desire to be a job provider. His sheep farming was not well-known in Kashmir until recently, but now people like him are starting sheep rearing units in the state. Even our ancestors and prophets have been involved in this business. According to Nouman Dar, there are many advantages of sheep farming, which are linked to agriculture, horticultural and floriculture, adding that there is a lot of potential in it. He stressed on the importance of conservation of natural environment by taking care of animals such as cows and sheep. It is imperative to understand the particular needs of sheep, like food, temperature and the environment. Due to sheep farming, people can also associate themselves with agriculture, horticulture and floriculture, which offer a lot of employment opportunities. He encouraged the youth not to limit themselves to government jobs, since there are abundant opportunities in sectors like agriculture, floriculture and horticulture offering substantial benefits and employment prospects.

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