Agartala: The Tripura government, in its recently held cabinet meeting, approved a special scheme for supporting the tribal population of the state in helping them rear livestock, especially goats.

Under the scheme, the state government will provide financial assistance to the beneficiaries and also ensure credit support from banks, Education Minister Ratan Lal Nath said on Thursday.

He said, “The proposal has been moved by the Tribal Welfare Department and the cabinet has approved the proposal. Upliftment of the living standards of the tribal people remains the key motive behind the scheme.”

As per the key points of the scheme, Nath said, “The scheme has been named as ‘Punbania’ — a Kokborok word that literally translates to “goat business.”

Nath added, “This is a credit-linked goatery scheme that will enable tribal people to generate more income. According to the modalities of the scheme, Self Help Group members will get Rs 2,51,000 for one unit. For each unit, the beneficiary has to pay a token amount of Rs 25,100, while the state government will pay a share of Rs 1,04,000, and the remaining Rs 1,25,500 will be deposited in their accounts as a loan.”

“The Tripura Gramin Bank will act as the financing agency in the scheme and for a period of nine months after getting the money no installments will be needed to be paid. The beneficiaries will be paying the loan, EMIs once they start earning. The state government will be the grantor for the beneficiaries,” he said.

Speaking on the goatery scheme, he said, “Among all the livestock, goats are considered to be immune to various diseases that generally cause heavy losses for pigs and poultry. Expenses for fodder and labor are also far less than other livestock rearing. And, unlike other businesses, goats give high returns in a comparatively quicker span of time. Apart from milk and meat, goat’s excreta is heavily used in fisheries as fodder,” he added. 

He said, “The beneficiaries can source a set of 12 goats comprising two males and 10 females either from an open market or from the Animal Resource Development Department of the state.”

Nath also mentioned about a similar scheme for the promotion of piggery. The budget for one unit for the piggery scheme stands at Rs 2,20,000.  

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