Women’s SHG members encouraged to take up poultry

December 19, 2014 11:37 am | Updated 11:37 am IST - TIRUCHI:

Jeeva, a member of women's self-help group, feeding the chicks at Mutharasanallur village in Tiruchi.  Photo: M. Srinath

Jeeva, a member of women's self-help group, feeding the chicks at Mutharasanallur village in Tiruchi. Photo: M. Srinath

Backyard country chicken farming, promoted by Animal Husbandry Department has supplementary income and a livelihood option to rural women in Tiruchi district.

Women’s self-help groups members, and individual women have been the beneficiaries with country chicken (native breed or nattu kozhi) which have a niche market and prime rate compared to broiler chicken, fetching them income.

Taste of the country chicken was considered an attractive feature to rear the birds. Jeeva and Dhanalakshmi of Sangam Self-Help Group, at Mutharasanallur, are two beneficiaries of the scheme. They said that they rear 250 chicken each at the backyard of their houses.

Ms. Jeeva said that the chicks were given on September 29 and the birds had now grown to 1 kg and 300 grams.

“I am selling the birds now at a cost of Rs. 300 a kg. This has come handy for us and whenever we want money, we sell the birds in the market or to individuals and get money,” said Ms. Jeeva.

“We have built a shed with space of one sq. ft per chicken. Space can be more than one sq. ft as chicken fall on each other if the space was one sq. ft,” Ms. Jeeva said.

For women in rural areas, who are without work, country chicken farming was a livelihood option, she said.

Jayashree Muralidharan, District Collector, and R. Mohana Rangan, Joint Director, Animal Husbandry Department inspected the farm on Thursday.

The Collector said Rs. 1,29,000 was provided for each unit of 250 chicken to the beneficiary. Out of this amount, 50 per cent was bank loan. The State government provided 25 per cent of the project cost as front end subsidy while the National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD) provided another 25 per cent as back end subsidy.

In 2012-13, Rs. 1,17,000 per unit was provided to 35 women and in 2013-14 to 240 women. During this year, the amount had been increased to Rs. 1,29,000. The target for this year was 160 beneficiaries.

With reduced fat content, country chicken was the best food for the elderly people. Country chicken and its eggs meet the protein requirement of people in rural areas. In urban areas, restaurants provide country chicken delicacies to customers.

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