The project assists rural women in Jharkhand to engage in backyard poultry farming. The first step of the project is completed – creation of Self-Help Groups(SHGs), in which women micro-entrepreneurs of homogeneous social and economic backgrounds voluntarily come together to create a common fund. In most cases, SHG’s are nurtured by Jharkhand State Livelihood Promotion Society, which is a state Government body. Here the business plan is managed by the beneficiaries of BYP. They have formed Poultry committee in their revenue village, which comes together on monthly basis to monitor the progress as well as to pay the Vaccinator for tasks performed.
All members contribute regularly with small sums of money, which together will form a pool to be used as a source of loans and emergency needs for the women. Such measures facilitate access to finance and will contribute to the financial stability of the beneficiaries. This step expects to reach 1,000 rural women through the creation of 50 SHGs, comprising 20 women each.
Udyogini is promoting indigenous breed of Desi birds, which are best suited to natural brooding (not hatchery process). This decision was made after a SWOT analysis and the most redeeming feature is that in case of indigenous bird survival % is high in naturally hatched chicks and they are found to be less susceptible to diseases.
Till now marketing is not big issue in case of BYP. We have found that in case of local market minimum price of live birds (400-600 gram) is Rs. 180 to Rs250. We have noticed that a broiler retailer needs to wait a day to sell, and not all birds are sold. Whereas in case of BYP indigenous variety, it takes few hours, despite a higher price.
The project is a simple yet an effective solution for complex development challenges. Firstly, backyard poultry requires low financial investment, giving a feasible alternative for poor and small scale farmers. Secondly, it does not require large pieces of land, an advantage for landless and small landholders. Thirdly, it is easy to learn and maintain. Fourthly, it gives high economic returns. In fact, local markets pay much higher prices for rural poultry farming products. Fifthly, it fits into Indian tradition which gives responsibility for the rearing of small animals to women. Finally, the SHGs work with the community to engage in collective action to generate social impact. Such groups are widely used to reduce gender inequalities, giving more decision-making power to women in their households and communities. As a consequence, the project aims to use backyard poultry as a tool to achieve relevant social and economic transformation of women’s lives, their families and communities.