Being a businesswoman is not something that Sunita Soren aged 30, educated up to 8th Std., a president of Bankathi village of Rajnagar block of Sariakella-Kharsawan district, ever thought about herself. She got married to Mr. Dev Kumar Soren at the early age of 17 years. Like most others in her village, the family has to struggle hard to meet the basic need of the 14 members family. Along with her husband, her 4 brother-in-laws warks as farm labour to earn livelihood which is seasonal in nature. The family could hardly fetch Rs. 80,000/ annually from their farm and labour.
Figure 1 Sunita At her shed constructed under MGNREGS
When life was a daily struggle, one of the first things she and her husband tried to increase their income through opening up a tailoring shop in the village along with a petty shop. But this back-breaking work however could earn her just around Rs. 100 a day, and it was only available during festive season. Despite of her best efforts she never had any money to save and was constantly on the brink of borrowing to meet the family’s needs.
Figure 2 Grown Chicken
One day in a village meeting, she came to know about Holistic Rural Development Project supported by HDFC Bank CSR, implemented by the Centre for World Solidarity. Under the project, women were to be imparted training on indigenous poultry farming followed by the distribution of 15 nos of chicks of 21 days old, of indigenous poultry including Kadaknath, Kaveri, Sonali, and Divyan Red.
The breeds were selected purposefully as Kaveri, Sonali and Divyan Red are dual purpose breeds (egg and meat type both), known for high laying capacity (200-250 eggs/annually) and body growth is fast and above all have good immunity against the disease in comparison to broiler. In addition, they appear like desi chickens hence have good saleability in the local market at higher price in comparison to broiler.
Sunita decided to begin a small-scale farm, as she could give time to the business as well as the housework. She started with just 15 chicks supported under project in month of Feb, 2023 and later on added 25 more chicks of same breed in mid march, 2023, on her own. Since she was imparted training on free range chicken farming hence she followed the package of practise to ensure healthy growth of chicken. Despite of her best effort she witnessed 10% mortality.
Mr. Nemai Soren (Mukhiya- Dumardiha Panchayat) recognized her effort and recommended her name for poultry shed under MGNREGS. It was great help for Sunita. Due to proper shed risk of predators nullified and she could able to give proper care to her chickens
Now, her chickens are grown up and started laying. She is having 25 hen and 11 cock. Every day she receive about 16-19 eggs from her pan. Instead of selling it in local market she is planning to hatch with view of increasing the number of chicks. Out of 11 grown cocks , she is planning to sale 6 cocks and keep 5 for further matting to get fertilized egg. The villagers are offering Rs. 600 per cock but she is waiting for upcoming festive season when she can get rs. 800-900 per cock.
Sunita calculates the expenses, including purchasing chick, buying feed and grains, medicines , etc and said that she would get about Rs. 5000 from selling of cocks and get about 150 chicks value of rs. 9000. Apart from monetary gain, every week her family consume 25-30 eggs, value about Rs. 240.
Sunita thanks HDFC Banks CSR and CWS for extending support and says “Gaon ke mahilaon jin ke pass punji nahi hai un ke liye is prakar ki murgi ka palan labhdayak hai. Ek taraf to anda bhi bahut deti hai aur desi jaisa dikhney ke karan iska daam bhi accha milta hai. Isko khilaney ka bhi kharcha kam hai aur bimari bhi kum hoti hai. Bhaley hum avi kam kama rahey hai per hum isko aur bada karnegey. Aur 200 murgi palengey”.