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Connecting with the Urban: A case of poultry farming

Poultry rearing is a traditional and age-old practice in rural areas. It is recognized as a potential tool to fight poverty and malnutrition. Establishing good linkages among the rural producers and urban consumers will go a long way in sustaining this rural enterprise.

Sardar Janak Singh in his poultry farm.

Sardar Janak Singh in his poultry farm.

Sardar Janak Singh, hails from a small village named Tanda, in Ranbir Singh Pura taluq in Jammu district. He attended a free training on poultry rearing by the Department of Animal Husbandry of J&K State for 15 days. Following the training he set up a poultry unit with 8000 chicks in 1991, with an initial investment of Rs. 1.25 lakhs.

The farm is located in East-West direction and well equipped. All the technical specifications are followed for good poultry rearing. The chicks are purchased from neighbouring Punjab and Haryana states. He purchases feed from Punjab and provides his birds with three different classes of feed viz. pre-starter feed upto first 10 days, starter feed upto 23 days and finisher feed for rest of the time of the flock in the shed. As far as the vaccines are concerned, he follows proper vaccination schedule meant for the broilers. The brooder stock is shifted to respective sheds at 2 weeks of age. After marketing of one flock of birds, the sheds are fumigated.

Linkages lead to sustainability

Strong rural urban linkages will not only help farmers stay back in villages pursuing profitable enterprises, it will also improve access to quality produce by urban consumers

Sardar Janak Singh has developed both backward linkages as well as forward linkages. He has developed contacts with the hatcheries in the nearby states, veterinarians, feed manufacturers, feed suppliers, medical stores, equipment showrooms and also with the local well known farmers associated with poultry farming. He receives information from the Livestock Development Officer and the Poultry Extension Officer as he visits them once a month. He is in touch with the medical representatives of different pharmaceutical companies who provide him with information related to emerging drugs and other nutritional supplements.

In 2005, marketing birds was a big challenge. Sardar Janak Singh had to travel to the urban areas to meet the wholesalers of the region and tell them about his produce. Further, the marketing was done through common contacts. Many a times, he faced rejection from the wholesalers due to unavailability of the consumers on their part. During Navratras, (a Hindu festival) he had to keep his stock for many days, resulting in losses. Also, during peak summers, the demand for poultry meat declined, leading to monetary losses.

Presently, the situation is completely different, owing to his widespread contacts and also owing to improved communication technologies. He uses mobile technology extensively. He receives text messages from across the region and also from the Poultry Producers Association of the region about the trending prices of the meat, which helps him to compare prices at different locations. He also gets text messages from other states about price of the commodity thereby helping him to determine price of his product. The sale depends upon demand. He sells his birds to the place where demand is higher. The wholesalers of that particular place call him to send the birds to them as he supplies quality and healthy birds. Wholesalers themselves transport the stock. Sardar’s marketing reach is so diverse that now he sells his stock to the retailers in Samba, Kathua, Udhampur, Reasi, Poonch, Rajouri and even Srinagar districts of the State. He also has contacts with a few hotels and restaurants, who purchase birds directly from him.

Sardar also takes into consideration the choice of the consumers. At times during festivity or marriage ceremony, he supplies the desired weight of birds. Some people have predilection for tender meat and some desire of more bulky meat, so accordingly, he fulfills the demand.

However, the business of poultry farming becomes cumbersome when there is huge mortality of chicks or when there are few birds left for sale. But still his linkages help him get rid of all the troubles and again rear a new batch. The business has strengthened him economically and provided him widespread social recognition.

Conclusion

Today, Sardar Janak Singh earns around 37,000/- to Rs. 41,000/- per month through his poultry farming and reaps about six broiler crops an year. Owing to his success, people interested in poultry farming come to him for advice. Many have started poultry farming too and succeeded.

The case of Sardar Janak Singh proves that the role of marketing plays an important role in succeeding in rural enterprises, like poultry farming. Strong rural urban linkages will not only help farmers stay back in villages pursuing such profitable enterprises, it will also improve access to quality produce by urban consumers.

Amandeep Singh and Pranav Kumar

Amandeep Singh
Student -3rd Year, B.V.Sc. & A.H.

Dr Pranav Kumar
Assistant Professor, Division of Veterinary & Animal Husbandry Extension Education, Faculty of Veterinary Sciences & Animal Husbandry, R.S.Pura, SKUAST-Jammu, (Jammu & Kashmir)