Livelihood improvement through improved goat farming
I am Sunil Shrestha. I am 24 years old an enthusiastic youth and agricultural & environmental activist, currently a final year undergraduate student of Agriculture at Institute of Agriculture and Animal Science (IAAS), Nepal. My interest is mainly on the agri-entrepreneurship for the higher food production and improving the condition of the resource poor farmers.
Introduction of project
A large number of people live under absolute poverty in a meager condition. They are deprived from the resources and their livelihood condition is very poor. For transformation of the country into Peace and Prosperous providing means of earning and livelihood is a basic requisite for which “goat gift” might be one of the option. Despite having large number of goat population in the country, the country is still not self-sufficient in fulfilling its demand. Large numbers of goats are annually imported from the neighboring countries. The current project thus envisaged to address both poverty alleviation issue and improve goat meat production through goat raising and gradually transforming subsistence goat farming to commercial production with available improved goat production technologies and improving the livelihood of resource poor people.
The resource poor farmers who are in dire need of the resources for their livelihood will get goats as capital assets. They will be also provided with other necessary inputs along with complete package of practices for goat husbandry. By end of the project, it has been envisaged that each participating farmers will have more breeding does plus followers and will be capable of selling average different goats (breeding does, bucks and culled old goats) annually enabling them to earn income that can help for gaining their livelihood. This will contribute towards sustainable source of income and improvement of livelihood of these resource poor farmers. Simultaneously, complete package of practices provided to the goat farmers will improve the goat productivity, which in turn help to gradual transformation towards commercial production and import substitution.
The main purpose of the current project is to provide an income-generating option for poor marginalized and socially deprived people for contributing toward prosperous country. Following are the specific project purposes:
- Income generation of ultra-poor farmers through “gift of goats” with complete Packages of Practices.
- Demonstrate possibility and potentiality of semi- commercial goat production system for import substitution.
In the selected district one-day stakeholder meeting will be organized in participation of all concerned stakeholders (government and non-governmental sector involved in livestock development, local government bodies, CBOs etc.) focusing on working modalities of project particularly to identify and select the beneficiary farmers. At least 25 ultra-poor, disadvantaged and marginal farmers will be selected for the project depending on farmers’ interest and necessity in a participatory way.
A short-term (2-3 days) intensive training will be organized for participating farmers before actually providing goats to them. Farmers will be trained on different aspect of goat rearing like housing, feeding management, diseases and parasites etc. Particular emphasis will be given on formulation of feed from locally available ingredients, utilization of land for legume grass production and cultivation of fodder trees in the homestead. Farmers will be also trained (refresher training) incorporating new farmers on improved package of practice for commercialization of goat production.
Each farmer will be provided 4 female goats (breeding does) after they are trained and complete simple slated housing facility construction for goats. 25 farmers will be grouped in to 4 clusters and each cluster of farmers will get one breeding buck. The project will support in animal health (drenching against internal parasites, vaccination and minor treatments), mineral mixture and supplement of protein source (such as oil cakes), while the participating farmers will contribute rest of the inputs during the first year they receive goats. All input and output records have to be maintained. Arrangement will be made to exchange breeding bucks between groups to avoid inbreeding in the flock.
Fodder block will be established in the participating farmer’s field such that year round green forage production will be possible to meet the green fodder demand for the goat raised by the farmers. Seeds, fertilizers and other necessary inputs will be covered by the project whereas farmers will contribute all labor requirements. Fodder based feeding system will be evaluated in the goats. All inputs and outputs record will be maintained by farmers themselves supervised by the project team member. Primary health care service (vaccination, drenching) will also be provided from the project. Market linkages will be established between producers and whole seller such that the farmers will have optimum benefit of goat farming.
The following outputs are expected to be achieved at the end of the project:
1. Income generating option developed through establishment of goat resource centre, verification of semi commercial goat production technologies and improved off-take rate.
2. Standard of living of the farmers improved.
3. Suitable technologies scaled-up
The ultimate beneficiaries groups envisaged in the project are the resource poor farmers of western hills in particular and throughout Nepal in general. The project also aims at commercialization of goat production with adoption of stall-feeding management and other improved goat production technologies.
This in one hand will increase the income and improve the livelihood of resource poor farmers through sale of animals while on the other it will contribute towards import substitution by increasing annual off take rate with improvement in the goat productivity. The goat gift will not only be the source of income for this ultra-poor people, but also the whole village will be developed as goat resource center which will help to provide regular supply of goats contributing towards import substitution.
Farmers training = $250
Distribution of does and bucks = $3000
Inputs (vaccine, minerals, protein supplements) = $1000
Fodder block establishment (seeds, fertilizers) = $ 500
Fodder based feeding = $250
This project is targeted for the resource poor farmers providing them with the goats for the initiation of the goat farming and will be promoted for the commercialization. This will help in livelihood improvement of the concerned community and increase in the annual income and standard of living.
Blogpost and picture submitted by Sunil Shrestha (Nepal) – shresthasunil672(at)gmail.com
The content, structure and grammar is at the discretion of the author only.
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