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Meet Somia Sadaf, Kupwara’s progressive farmer, entrepreneur

Post by Syeda Rafiyah on Saturday, November 19, 2022

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Srinagar, Nov 18: Somia Sadaf is a progressive farmer hailing from north Kashmir’s frontier district Kupwara who has set up a successful dairy farm, poultry farm, a fish pond, and provides training to young unemployed women and youth. 
Actually from Muzaffarabad in Pakistan-controlled Kashmir, Somia was married to Abdul Majeed of Batargam Kupwara in 2002. Soon after her marriage, she took many initiatives along with her husband and became a progressive farmer and entrepreneur. 
She started thinking about establishing a business in 2011. She applied for a dairy farm under the NRLM scheme in 2016 and started with one cow. With her hard work, she developed it to 16 cows in 2018. 
Her was the first dairy farm in the Kupwara district when she established it. Today, she owns 10 Holliston Friesan and Jersey cows and produces nearly 40 kgs of milk each day which she sells locally. She uses machine milking to extract milk from the cow by vacuum. 
The 38-year-old woman has also established a poultry farm for which she got good help from the KVK Kupwara which gave her 200 Keystone Golden birds that produce eggs. Her marketing plan includes selling products at Kisan Melas hosted by SKUAST Kashmir as well as supplying milk to nearby hotels and neighbours and eggs to neighbourhood clients.
The multi-tasking woman and a mother of four children is also associated with agriculture as her family owns 25 kanals of irrigation land.
Notably, she has also established a fish pond near her kitchen garden under NRLM. It has 250 fish. However, she is yet to sell her first fish produce.
“In all these businesses, my total monthly income is Rs 1.5 lakh,” Somia told Rising Kashmir. Her business has also become a source of employment for two people. She also hires many people in the summer season when there is more work. She was also running a training centre in the village in 2018 and had trained some 200 women in knitting and other handiwork.
Somia, who has done MA in Urdu, has also given instruction in the scientific raising and management of cows. She keeps herself up to date about new technologies regarding the maintenance of her land and the marketing of milk.
“Women should come out and take initiative. They can go into any field and start any kind of business. They just have to be consistent, committed and work hard,” she said.
In June 2018, she interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi through videoconferencing and represented Jammu and Kashmir.
Over the course of her entrepreneurial venture, her family has consistently supported her. “Support from family is highly commendable when it comes to managing and feeding cows,” she said.
A few years back, she was nominated for a national award. She has received district, state, national-level and National Rural Livelihood Mission-related certifications, medals, prizes, nominations, and recognition as a successful woman entrepreneur. Apart from that, she takes part in training programmes as a resource person. She also contested the maiden District Development Council (DDC) elections in 2020 from Kupwara. 

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