Backyard Poultry Farming of Vanaraja Breed: A Less Capital Enterprise

Backyard Poultry Farming of Vanaraja Breed: A Less Capital EnterpriseThe population of Lower Dibang Valley District, Arunachal Pradesh is predominantly tribal in nature. Due to their non-vegetarian dietary pattern there is a good demand for meat and egg in the region. But the production in the region is poor due to traditional method of rearing livestock. Based on need of the region, high production potential poultry bird (Vanaraja breed) has been introduced and popularized as a source of sustainable livelihood for rural resource poor farm women.

Capacity Building Programmes
According to a participatory rural appraisal based study conducted in selected villages of the district, there is a wide gap between production and demand for poultry meat and egg. Twenty farmers from 10 villages of the district were selected and imparted skill based training on various aspects of backyard poultry farming.

Critical Input supply   
Participants enriched with sound knowledge were distributed with 10 fertile eggs of Vanaraja per person free of cost under on-farm testing mandate of KVK, Lower Dibang Valley. Fertile eggs for distribution among farming community were procured from Poultry Division (AICRP), Veterinary College, Khanapara, Assam Agriculture University, Guwahati.

Extension Activities
Periodical visits along with veterinary department officials were made to beneficiaries units for health check-up as well as to collect information on growth performance and egg production potential of Vanaraja breed. Ten exposure visit programmes were organized to convince worth of the technology for farmers.

Backyard Poultry Farming of Vanaraja Breed: A Less Capital EnterpriseBackyard Poultry Farming of Vanaraja Breed: A Less Capital Enterprise

Over 50 Farmers Adopted the Enterprise
Three progressive farmers Mr. Okili Linggi, Smt. Poornima and Mr. Dumi Perme respectively from Rukmo, Ezengo and Jia villages initially started this enterprise on commercial scale. They could produce 6,000 fertile eggs and distributed among these 25 fellow farmers. Now, 50 farmers are practicing this less capital intensive and sustainable economic returns and livelihood oriented enterprise in the district. Successful farmers have produced about 6,000 fertile eggs under the incubation of local birds as record till date.

Due to easy accessibility of eggs at doorsteps, other farmers can also start the enterprise conveniently. It has generated employment opportunities for rural youth and farmers were enriched with sound knowledge on commercial farming of breed. The venture has successfully generated average income of Rs. 60,000 from eggs and Rs. 52,500 from meat. Local non-descript birds were upgraded due to crossbreeding of improved breed. Feed back of farmers includes faster growth of birds more number of bigger sized eggs thrives well under low input system, resistance to most of the diseases, and requires small space, minimum labour force and investment.

(Source: KVK, Lower Dibang Valley, Arunachal Pradesh)