Odisha: Kadaknath poultry farming is raising incomes of tribal families in Kandhamal
Members of Kondh tribal community in 12 villages of Phulbani, Khajuripada and Phiringia blocks in Kandhamal are now rearing Kadaknath chicken, and selling eggs and birds for an additional income. The success of the project has led to a similar project being implemented in Jharsuguda.
Niroj Ranjan Misra 17 Jun 2023 5:51 AM GMT
Kaiphula Mallick cannot contain her happiness as her poultry farm has started to bring her financial returns. The Kondh tribe woman recently sold 160 Kadaknath eggs that fetched her Rs 3,200. The inhabitant of Siruballi village in Kandhamal, Odisha, is now waiting for some of her Kadaknath chicken to weigh 2.5 kilograms (kg) each so that she can sell them at Rs 700 per kg.
If all goes as planned, the tribal woman is likely to earn Rs 10,000 to Rs 15,000 every month through her Kadaknath poultry farm. “If that happens, I will no longer have to depend on an erratic annual income of fifty thousand rupees from seasonal collection of forest produce to run my family,” a joyous Kiaphula told Gaon Connection.
Like her, another 25 Kondh women in Sirubali village have taken up Kadaknath poultry farming and now have an additional income beyond the collection and sale of minor forest produce, such as jhuna (frankincense resin), palua (arrowroot), honey, and jackfruit.
As many as 45 members of the Kondh tribal community in 12 villages of Phulbani, Khajuripada and Phiringia blocks in Kandhamal, Odisha are now rearing Kadaknath chicken. Another 25 women from Sirubali village in Balliguda block are also a part of this project to raise the income of tribal communities.
Also Read: A traditional Odia millet dish Atkel is helping fight infant and maternal mortality in Kalahandi
Trained by a non-profit PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action) under a pilot project of the Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA), Balliguda, the tribal women have taken up poultry farming. They were provided free Kadaknath chicks (considered healthier and superior than broilers), and these women are pulling out all the stops to make it a flourishing business.
They are being supported by the Animal Resources Development, and a Prani Mitra from Mission Shakti Departmemt’s Odisha Livelihoods Mission. Launched in 2019, Mission Jeevika is a livelihood programme with an objective to enhance tribals’ earning through agriculture and non-agriculture projects. The Kadaknath poultry project was started under Mission Jeevika in 2022-23.
“Inspired by the flourishing Kadaknath poultry business in Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh, during my visit there in the past, I instructed the Integrated Tribal Development Agency to promote Kadaknath poultry in the blocks under their jurisdiction in tandem with NGOs and Animal Resources Development Department,” Ashish Kishore Patil, collector, Kandhamal, told Gaon Connection.
Training tribal women in Kadaknath farming
The Integrated Tribal Development Agency (ITDA) in Phulbani and Balliguda blocks of the district have taken up pilot projects to promote Kadaknath farming. The project was formally launched on August 3, 2022.
Once launched, selected tribal farmers were invited and provided training by ITDA to start Kadaknath poultry farming.
“We chose those who showed interest in the new venture. Then we roped in a non-profit called PRADAN, that trained a Prani Mitra from the Odisha Livelihood Mission who in turn would guide the poultry farmers,” explained Samiran Nayak, project manager, ITDA, Balliguda. The Prani Mitra also coordinates with the Animal Resources Development Department to have the chicks vaccinated in time, he added.
To train the tribal farmers on different aspects of Kadaknath poultry, scientists from the Bhubaneswar-based Odisha University of Agriculture and Technology were invited, informed Swadhin Rout, an executive of PRADAN. “A Prani Mitra of Odisha Livelihoods Mission was also trained to help and guide beneficiaries at regular intervals,” Rout added.
The Integrated Tribal Development Agency, Balliguda, imported month-old chicks from Chhattisgarh at a cost of Rs 90 each. Each beneficiary was provided with 20 chicks. Similarly, ITDA, Phulbani, procured chicks from Maharashtra at Rs 120 each and provided 10 to each of its beneficiaries. These chicks were provided free of cost to all the beneficiaries under the project.
The women from Sirubali village in Balliguda Block, who are part of the ITDA initiative, have set up poultry sheds that cost Rs 16,000 each. “While ITDA provided Rs 12,000, each of the beneficiaries had to invest the remaining Rs 4,000,” Sujata, one of the women farmers, told Gaon Connection.
“Earlier, very few people in Sirubali had Kadaknath poultry, but ITDA introduced it in an organised way by bringing various stakeholders together,” Sumit Ranjan Mishra, former Block Veterinary Officer, Phulbani, told Gaon Connection.
The speciality of the Kadaknath meat and eggs lies in its high nutritional value. “It is low in cholesterol and the meat is rich in protein, iron, calcium, Vitamin B and Vitamin E,” said Rajesh Pradhan, the Subject Matter Specialist of ITDA, Balliguda.
A nourishing business
Swadhin Rout from PRADAN said the Kadaknath chicks were showing good progress. Villagers feed them with saag (greens), rice bran, and powder of prawns, sukhua (salty dried fish) and protein-rich green aizawl, a local grass. The green feed is mixed with lime to add calcium.
“Each bird gained 768 grams in three months and weighed 900 grams after five months. They laid eggs after 24 weeks that the women sold,” said Rout.
“A Kadaknath-egg sells at Rs 20 while that of other birds costs Rs 12 to Rs 15 in Sirubali. The sale of the first lot of 1,800 Kadaknath eggs fetched about Rs 36,000 to the villagers,” Golapi Lima, a Prani Mitra, told Gaon Connection.
Even the birds sell at a higher rate when compared to the other breeds. “A Kadaknath fetches us around Rs 700 per kilo, while other birds sell at Rs 350 to Rs 400 per kilo. A broiler or a layer sells at 170 to Rs, 200,” said Sumitra, one of the beneficiary women farmers from Sirubali.
“Last month I sold two undressed Kadaknath. While one fetched Rs 800 per kilogram, the other got sold at Rs 1000 a kilo. Besides, I sell eggs at Rs 25 per piece,” said Sunama in Bedaketa village of Phiringia block.
ITDA in Balliguda and Phulbani blocks plans to form self-help groups (SHGs) under the State Livestock Development Activity to give further boost to their projects. ITDA, Phulbani plans to erect hatcheries under SHGs in Phulbani and Khajuripada. “Our plan is to enhance production so that we can export eggs and birds to other states,” PM Murali Mohan of ITDA, Phulbani, told Gaon Connection.
Also Read: The Strawberry Farmers of Odisha
Kadaknath farming in Jharsuguda
Meanwhile, in another district of the state, Jharsuguda, Kadaknath farming is also picking up pace. The Animal Resources Development in Jharsuguda has taken up the project in 10 villages.
“We conducted a survey along with the block administration and concerned panchayats to select 98 beneficiaries on the basis of their experience and interest. We zeroed in on 25 to start with,” Pabitra Parija, chief district veterinary officer, Jharsuguda, told Gaon Connection.
The district administration has procured chicks from the state-level breeding farm in Chiplima in neighbouring Sambalpur and provided 20 chicks to each of the 25 beneficiaries in January-February this year, he informed.
“The District Mineral Foundation has given Rs 34 lakh for the project. About Rs 1.3 lakh has been spent so far to begin the experiment. The remaining amount will be used to replicate it in other villages after assessing the first phase’s success rate,” said the chief district veterinary officer.