This case study is the result of field visits undertaken by the South Asia Pro Poor Livestock Policy Programme (SA PPLPP) in District Kandhamal, Odisha, India, where PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action) has supported goat based livelihood interventions in five of the fourteen gram panchayats of the Balliguda block. ( Gram Panchayats are local self-governments at the village or small town level in India, and are the foundations of the Panchayati Raj System. Panchayats where re-introduced as institutions of local self-governance in 1992. As of 2002, there were about 265,000 gram panchayats in India.)
These interventions were designed with the twin objectives of increasing household income from goat rearing by reducing mortality and morbidity, improving management and rearing practices and facilitating the establishment of community institutions and processes to ensure sustainability of these interventions.
The case study details the implementation strategy of this innovative community-centric model, with Self Help Groups (SHGs) as the foundation, to facilitate access to preventive health, vaccination services and knowledge sharing on improved rearing and husbandry practices. It also documents the major challenges and learning gained, which further contributed to modifying and strengthening the implementation approach.
This report aims to place the economic context of small ruminant rearing within broader policy and institutional frameworks, and studies the value chains of goat and sheep meat and skin, and sheep wool.
The objective of the report is to establish the macro market picture vis-à-vis small ruminant rearers through analysis and documentation of approaches and practices related to market prospects. In addition, the report identifies opportunities for facilitating access of small-holder livestock owners to more remunerative markets.
The report successfully attempts to construct the value chains of three important products of the small ruminant sector - meat, leather and wool. It also documents grass-root initiatives on small ruminant rearing and their impact on the livelihoods of rearers.
The report documents approaches, interventions and good practices related to small ruminant breed conservation and improvement in India, and their impact on the livelihoods of smallholder livestock rearers. The documented approaches include promotion of indigenous breeds, traditional systems for sharing small ruminant assets and cross-breeding programmes.
The report also includes a comparative assessment of small ruminant breed populations in the country. In addition, the report compiles information on a range of small ruminant breed improvement projects implemented in tropical developing countries other than India.
Most importantly, the report identifies and describes issues for policy advocacy related to small ruminant breed conservation and improvement with the objective of securing sustainable livelihoods for small ruminant rearers as also facilitating their participation in the expanding market for small ruminants.
Traditionally poultry production (both broiler and layer) has played an integral part of small farming systems and for food security throughout rural and suburban communities in Saint Lucia. The construction of a concrete floor within an existing 4000 sq. ft. poultry pen as well as the construction of a footbath at the entrance of the pen ensure increased bio-security for the poultry farm. These disease control measures are risk reduction strategies, which will increase the production of healthy stock to be sold at the market, thereby generating income and contributing to people’s livelihoods and food security.
Saint Lucia as an island in the southeast Caribbean basin lies within the hurricane belt. As such, the agriculture sector, among others, is highly affected by the impact of windstorms and hurricanes. In addition, the sector is also facing water shortages during the dry season (variable, but typically from January to April/May), lack of improved forage species for maximizing production and unavailability of improved housing for livestock. The construction of a hurricane-resistant small ruminant housing unit incorporates rain water harvesting and bio-security features, such as the construction of a footbath, a slatted wooden floor and concrete base beneath the pen to facilitate efficient manure handling and disposal. As a result, this technology ensures that small ruminant housing meet adequate construction and safety standards to reduce damage by hurricanes and windstorms and reduce the risk of infection and diseases among animals. Small ruminants are an important livelihood asset of farmers.
Integrating ducks in rice farming have been proven to increase 20% higher yield with about 50% higher net return. The same cultivation area can be used for not only rice production but also subsidiary products like meat and eggs. At the same time it reduces labour inputs through control of weeds and insects by ducks. Beside its economic benefits this technology is especially environmental friendly. The application of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides can be reduced thereby improving soil quality and pest control. The additional benefits of this Good Practice Option are a higher food security to small farming households in times of calamities and on long-term basis the contribution to reduce methane emission. Hence, integration of duck in lowland rice production is recommended as climate adaptation and mitigation option.
Baif is an NGO that works across 60,000 villages in 16 states of India, reaching out to over 4.5 million farmers. In BAIF’s programme area in the Dharwad district of India, high mortality among goat kids in the rainy season was reported as a major constraint by goat rearers. Following discussions with goat rearers in three villages’ of the district (Nigadi, Devarhuballi and Benkaiikatti) the high mortality was attributed to nematode infestations in both pregnant does and their kids. Members of the Kuruba community, a traditional pastoral community in the area, were reported to use a locally available herb for regular de-worming of their livestock. In collaboration with goat rearers, BAIF’s research team conducted trials to study the comparative efficacy of this herb with a commercial de-wormer Fenbenzadole.
SEVA (Sustainable Agriculture and Environmental Voluntary Action) is an NGO involved in documenting and disseminating indigenous knowledge and grassroot innovations in Tamil Nadu, India.
In 2008, SEVA initiated a study on the comparative efficacy of herbal and chemical de-wormers on sheep flocks. The cost of the herbal de-wormer is comparable to that of the chemical de-wormer Fenbendazole, however the herbal de-wormer can also be prepared by livestock rearers on their own as the ingredients are easily available around homestead areas unlike the chemical de-wormer which has to be purchased from a chemist.
Anthra, a non-profit organization working primarily on issues of livestock development in the wider context of sustainable natural resource use, worked with migratory shepherd communities in Maharashtra, India. Access to information on disease occurrence and remedial measures emerged as a constraint for shepherds on the move. Keeping in mind that many shepherds carried with them mobile phones as they migrated with their sheep in search of grazing, Anthra developed an innovative and simple SMS service to disseminate information regarding current diseases and remedial measures, including herbal and ethno-veterinary medicines that shepherds could easily access. Shepherds wishing to receive this information register their mobile numbers at the Anthra office, which thereafter sends fortnightly updates on probable seasonal diseases, symptoms, remedies and precautions that shepherds can take to prevent the out-break and spread of disease amongst their flocks. Information is sent out in the local language, making it easy for shepherds to understand and share the information among their groups.
Formation of the Kesla Poultry Cooperative Society links small-holders to fast growing broiler markets by building a collective, filling skill gaps, addressing production efficiency, providing support services and inputs and marketing of live broilers. These efforts effectively removed rigid entry barriers and allowed the poor to access market opportunities. This cooperative today comprises 459 women members (from tribal and dalit families) across 18 villages. Each member owns backyard production units of a minimum of 300-400 broiler birds and sells under the ‘Sukhtawa Chicken’ Brand and through wholesalers. The Good Practice shows: The success of a cooperative model; The importance of a collective wherein the Kesla Cooperative produces 125,000 birds every month and is one of the largest poultry production houses in Madhya Pradesh; An increase in the monthly supply of broiler chicks from 2,500 in 1998 to over 7.14 lakh (A lakh is a unit in the South Asian numbering system equal to one hundred thousand) chicks in 2008, resulting in an average income of Rs 9,000 – 15,000 per year to each member; Notwithstanding the Bird Flu scare (Dec. ’05 – June ’06) which wiped out many small poultry producers in the state, the cooperative members could stay in business, among others, due to the Cooperative’s mitigation fund.