Hatching eggripreneurs through poultry farming: A CARD –KVK Approach
The poultry population in Pathanamthitta district is estimated to be 359185 nos. Egg production from the present poultry population is not able to meet the egg requirement of the district which as recommended by Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) is 180 egg/person/year as against the availability of 92 eggs/head/year amounting to a demand of 22 crores eggs with a supply of only 11.35 crores . Thus the deficit stands at 10.6 crores eggs to meet the total demand of the population of the district. This itself indicates that there is immense scope for further development in the field of layer farming in Pathanamthitta district. . Available records with the animal husbandry department of Pathanamthitta reports that of 3,59,185 numbers of poultry fowls in the district 1,85,858 are of desi or indigenous type while 1,73,327 are of the improved variety indicating that around 51.74% of the total poultry population of the district account to Desi variety. Albeit the fact that the native chicken varieties are sturdy, well adapted to harsh living conditions and relatively immune to many common diseases of poultry, their productivity is low due to their poor laying potential.
Bridging the gap:
a) Popularization of Improved High Yielding varieties: Taking this into account Krishi Vigyan Kendra started popularizing improved varieties with high laying potential such as Grama sree ,Grama laxmi,Grama priya ,Kalinga brown etc. Krishi Vigyan Kendra during 2008-09, introduced yet another better yielding variety of poultry bird-Caveri, a dual purpose bird derived from intensive research by the Central Poultry Development Organisation (CPDO), Hessarghata, Bangalore. On Farm Trial on the comparative study of the performance of Caveri and Grammapriya variety of chicks were carried out in Mallappally and Pandalam Blocks in the year 2008-09 and 2009-10 respectively. The results inferred that Caveri variety of poultry bird could be successfully reared in backyard system in the climatic conditions of Kerala with high egg production of about 200-220 eggs under intensive system in the district ,while it recorded an average production of 170-180 under backyard rearing system. These birds thrives well in free range systems and feeds on kitchen leftovers, locally available cheaper grains, insects, earthworms and all other edible material available under free range.
b) Family poultry farming: Commercial layer farming in the district is impaired as such on account of high feeding cost. Hence Krishi Vigyan Kendra has been promoting a novel concept of family poultry farming. Such family poultry farming units require very little hand feeding and bare minimum effort. Another advantage of the family poultry farming is that it utilizes only family labour there by adding to its profit. Under the family poultry rearing concept Krishi Vigyan Kendra is encouraging each house hold to take the minimum pain to rear at least 10 numbers of birds at home .This will not only meet the nutritional demands of the family but will also act as a subsidiary income generating avenue and will also help in attaining the targeted goal of the state of doubling egg production by 2011-2012. So, in order to get an enhanced production and to meet the targeted egg production it is necessary to switch to varieties which can thrive well in our climate with low inputs and suboptimal management and at the same time have a high production potential.
c) Production and distribution: Shortage of day old chicks is a major problem faced by the district for the development of the poultry sector. With an aim to meet the overwhelming requirement of chicks by the farming community of the district , a strong poultry production and distribution system was initiated at KVK with financial support of NABARD during 2011.Under the system, KVK could supply around 2000-3000 chicks to the farmers per month amounting to 24000 -36000 chicks in a year which will produce around 36, 000, 00 eggs every year adding Rs.1.08 cores to the annual revenue of the farming community in the district.
d) Entrepreneurship development: Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Pathanamthitta has been in the forefront in the technology assessment, refinement and dissemination in advanced poultry rearing practices and has been organizing large number of vocational trainings for the farmers, rural youths and extension functionaries. Apart from these KVK has been conducting regular technology demonstrations and trainings on Poultry production practices and making efforts to train the farmers of the district with special emphasis on egger nursery management. The trainees are taught various aspect of scientific management practices in egger nursery units and are given hands on training on these micro enterprises .Training also includes the financial and banking aspect of the enterprise. During the period trainings on egger nursery and advanced poultry production practices has been provided to 30 trainees under Micro enterprise development programme of NABARD with an almost 80% adoption rate. Of these five trainees are successfully running egger nursery units with registration under animal husbandry departments. Their units sell 500-2000 layer chicks at bimonthly basis with a net profit of Rs. 5,000-20,000 per batch. The rest of the trainees have set up small scale family poultry farming units .The up gradation of farmers to an entrepreneur has not only improved their living status but also has instilled a new enthusiasm in them for newer and better technologies.
During the past five years KVK has supplied 29159 numbers of improved varieties of chicks benefitting 2500 numbers of farmers of the district contributing to a production of additional 35 lakhs eggs in the district worth 1.3 Crore. Contribution of Krishi Vigyan Kendra towards population of improved variety of poultry in the district amounts to 16.82%. A socio-economic evaluation of poultry farmers of Mallappally block of Pathanamthitta District carried out in the year 2010 found that there was an 8.5% increase in their annual income solely from poultry rearing. An overall contribution of Rs. 1.5 crores to the rural economy from egg sale and bird sale has been noted from KVK contribution in the district.KVK has established 2019 numbers of family poultry production units of 10-20 nos. of chicks with total estimated egg production of 3499050 numbers worth Rs.1,22,44,675.Five numbers of satellite egger nurseries has been established with a total capacity of 75000 chicks per annum . Apart from these KVK has also established 20 numbers of egg production units of 50 birds and above with an annual egg production of 168000 worth Rs.672000. The total egg production in the district amounts to 11.36 Crore .Of this KVK has directly contributed 3499050 numbers of eggs. Field egg production units established under KVK direction and contribution has helped in adding 168000 numbers of eggs to the total production. The satellite egger nursery established under KVK direction helps in contributing 7980000 numbers of eggs to the total production. As such around 10% of total egg production in the district is directly or indirectly contributed by KVK.
Krishi Vigyan Kendra has up to a limit contributed to the increase in the production and productivity of poultry birds in the district. The involvement of KVK in the field of poultry rearing has lead to the replacement of desi breed variety with improved varieties by more than 16% .The introduction of improved varieties in the district has helped in the enhancement of productivity of poultry birds as the production potential of improved varieties is 110% more than that of the desi varieties. KVK’s intervention in this field could also contribute to increase of egg production in the district from 2, 74, 58,340 to 3, 09, 57,390 nos. of eggs.