KERALA

Goat farms turn a popular microenterprise

Staff Reporter

KOCHI: Goat farming has turned into a popular enterprise, especially among women, in the State. The Animal Husbandry Department is finding it hard to cope with the flood of enquiries for training from potential goat farmers.

Even in Ernakulam, which is considered the State's urban hub, the number of enquiries is going up by the day, says an official of the Kudumbasree Poverty Eradication Mission, which has encouraged women under neighbourhood groups to take up goat-rearing, mostly for its meat.

The Department now trains people at its facilities at Dhoni in Palakkad, Kodappanakkunnu in Thiruvananthapuram, Kolany near Moovattupuzha and Kuriottumala near Punalur. These facilities are able to train about 150 people a week whereas the enquiries are burgeoning thanks to self-help groups that are getting 30 per cent subsidy in setting up a small farm costing approximately Rs. 75,000.

Women are selected by the Kudumbasree Mission for training in goat-rearing through the Community Development Societies. The week-long training is residential and the expenses are borne by the Mission.

The groups generally comprise five women who own up to four animals per person. Some of these units are developed as breeder units. Initially, the response to the proposal from Kudumbasree encouraging women to take up goat farming was damp.

However, with the arrival of a comprehensive training programme and the bank-linkage, the programme started evoking good response.

In Ernakulam district, more than 125 people have been trained so far from nine panchayats, including Thuravur, Nedumbassery, Kuttampuzha, Koovappady, Edakkattuvayal. Enquiries have been heavy in districts like Idukki, said the Kudumbasree Mission official.

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