For the best experience, open
on your mobile browser.

From Financial Struggles to Dairy Riches | Masrat Jan's Inspiring Journey

'Financial insecurities made me realise that it is highly important to be financially independent'
12:00 AM May 21, 2024 IST | Guest Contributor
from financial struggles to dairy riches   masrat jan s inspiring journey

From struggling to make ends meet to earning lakhs per month, Masrat Jan, a 40-year-old progressive dairy farming entrepreneur from Sheipora Larkipora in South Kashmir's Anantnag district, has crafted an inspiring tale of success.


Hailing from a family facing major financial setbacks, Jan took the bold step of investing her long-deposited savings into purchasing her first cow in 2018 and starting "Khanday Dairy Farms." With guidance from the Department of Animal Husbandry in Anantnag, her business began flourishing.


"Financial insecurities made me realize that it is highly important to be financially independent," said Jan. "The first thing that crossed my mind is to do something I should be familiar with."


Prior to venturing into dairy farming, Jan had no inclination towards this field. But driven by a desire to provide for her family, she persevered. Her farm quickly expanded from a single cow to a bustling enterprise.


"There was a time when we were unable to pay the school fees of our children. I felt hopeless and disappointed," Jan recalled. "Now we earn lakhs monthly."


From struggling to meet basic needs, Masrat Jan has emerged as a role model for aspiring women entrepreneurs in the Kashmir Valley. Her remarkable journey showcases how determined entrepreneurship can pave the way for financial empowerment and success.


The investment Masrat Jan made into starting her dairy farm proved to be life-changing in ways she could have never imagined. Despite facing hardships, her enthusiasm and hard work kept driving her forward. Jan takes immense pride in being a dairy entrepreneur. "We have collaborated with locals to sell this milk and contribute towards alleviating the scarcity of milk in our area," she expressed.


Masrat Jan expressed gratitude towards the government for supporting her venture and providing financial assistance for starting the dairy farm. Additionally, they aided her with a subsidized vehicle for transporting food, fodder, and supplying milk to shops.

The Integrated Dairy Development Scheme (IDDS), an initiative aimed at uplifting people in Jammu and Kashmir to take up dairy farming to extract its full benefits, played a key role. Under this scheme, both men and women can avail subsidies for dairy units. A male beneficiary can receive Rs 1.75 lakh, while a woman or a member of a scheduled caste/scheduled tribe can get Rs 2 lakh for setting up a unit.

In the initial days, Masrat realized the farm would be a game-changer due to the substantial monthly earnings. This convinced her husband to reinvest in higher-yielding cattle, marking the beginning of her successful dairy farm venture.

Masrat Jan is satisfied with taking up her dairy farming venture. Apart from the income from selling milk, the manure her farm produces doubles her monthly earnings. With high hopes, the woman entrepreneur now plans to establish a vermicompost unit for cow dung to produce and supply organic manure, benefiting the local community and aiding agricultural production.

"When I bought the first cow, I realized this could overcome our financial insecurities, so I further expanded the venture. Slowly and steadily, the number increased," said Masrat. Dairy farming has transformed their lives economically due to the collaborative effort of Masrat and her husband, Shabir Ahmad Khanday. "The schemes and subsidies encouraged us and kept us hooked towards the farm. Every cow in our farm is like family," said Khanday, appreciating the government's initiatives for rural upliftment.

In 2018, with immense support from her husband, Masrat took this initiative and emerged as one of Kashmir's successful dairy entrepreneurs, inspiring several other women. Her dairy farm significantly improved her family's financial condition.

"Support from family is crucial when managing and maintaining the animals' feeding," Jan said, acknowledging her husband's support.

Initially, Masrat had no inclinations about establishing a dairy farming business and excelling in this field. "Sometimes difficulties make a person opt for the right choices," she recalled her difficult days. Notably, her farm has become a source of employment, with two employees earning a monthly salary of Rs 10,000. Their dairy farm yields good liters of milk daily, bringing in approximately 1.5 to 2 lakh Rs monthly.

Masrat considers dairy farming a promising solution to growing unemployment. "It is crucial to be financially independent. Women should come out and take such initiatives; they can go into any field and start any business. They just need to be focused, consistent, and committed," she says.

Starting from humble beginnings, Masrat now has 21 animals, including calves, in her farm. The dairy farming venture enables her to maintain her livelihood satisfactorily. She credits the Department of Animal Husbandry in Anantnag for her successful venture, educating her about schemes and subsidies, and providing various assistance.

The dairy sector is thriving in Anantnag District, with around 7.29 lakh liters of milk produced per day, said Dr. Javeed Mohiuddin Zargar, Chief Animal Husbandry Officer, Anantnag. "The IDDS has been beneficial to farmers; they are provided unit-wise subsidies in which both men and women can avail of its benefits," he said, adding that 153 dairy units were established during 2023-24, and 103 more have been approved for 2024-25.

BY Shaheen Mursal