JEEViKA’s goat rearing intervention has been designed to enhance the income of households by reducing mortality and morbidity of the goats, instilling improved rearing practices and processes to ensure sustainability of the intervention. Moving ahead with this vision, the project has developed 1445 Pashu Sakhis in the form of micro entrepreneurs to cater health services to goat rearers and has been able to reach out to 1.15 lakh goat rearers across 18 districts of Bihar.
Bihar Rural Livelihood Promotion Society has brought a paradigm shift in the socio-economic parameters in rural Bihar by mobilizing, empowering and promoting livelihood amongst the rural women. The Mission has developed Institutions of the poor women; promoting them as institutions of micro credit, sector specific producer groups and producer companies. Livestock based livelihood intervention, more specifically goat rearing for livelihood generation, has made progressive success over the years.
The core objective for promoting goat rearing was to provide milk and meat centric livelihood to poor unorganized rural households. The intervention also focused on achieving the following long-term goals
The demand for goat rearing was high due to small and fragmented land holding and erratic rainfall patterns making agriculture difficult. Most marginal and small farmers opted goat rearing for livelihood.
Goat rearing in Bihar is being done in several patches intensively by different communities. BRLPS, developed goat clusters on the basis of geographical suitability and higher goat population, to strengthen the already existing systems and promote livelihoods for the destitute. After scrutiny, the livestock team found the following clusters with on-going interventions:
Formation of PGs
Introducing Pashu Sakhi Model
SHG members having experience of local goat rearing practices, are identified and are provided 15 days training in 3 phases (5 days in each phase). The Pashu Sakhi, after being trained, provide the following services to the goat rearers-
Introduction of a herd of goats:
The procurement of Black Bengal goat and Bucks was done keeping in view the geographical and climatic conditions. The best suitable breed was selected. In order to facilitate reproduction, 3 She-Goats and 4 Bucks were provided to every PG member.
Feed Management Systems and Vaccination Introduced
To ensure lower mortality rates, PG members were trained on feeding habits, minimising open grazing and education to add locally available materials like fodder and feed concentrate to the diet of the goats and their kids. Stall feeding with green fodder, dry fodder with added mineral mixture habits were instilled. Promotion of azolla and moringa leaves as feed for the goats have also been undertaken. This resulted in positive growth in meat production and health of the goats. Based on the availability of local resources, goat sheds have been made and the habit of keeping goats in such sheds have been instilled. Vaccination of goats and de-worming are to be practiced on quarterly basis. Fortnightly PG meetings are being conducted to resolve issues and required services.
In view of the reduced mortality and morbidity on account of regular vaccination and de- worming of goats, the goat rearers are now willing to pay for these services. Regular training and knowledge dissemination to both Pashu Sakhis and PG members have led to the adoption of improved practices of rearing and management. The project has successfully impacted the lives of rural women and their families and has driven them towards a sustainable livelihood practice. The major outputs of the intervention are listed here-
Pinki Devi - a case study
Residing in the small village of Jagannathpur in Muzaffarpur, Pinki inspires many goat rearing women to confidently and proudly pursue goat rearing as an aspirational occupation.
She has been rearing goats for the last 7 years and when she began, nobody in her village knew about vaccinating or deworming their goats. Many goats died and rearers lost their income. Following the support provided by ‘Chandani didi’, a trained Pashu Sakhi, the scenario changed completely. She informed and motivated goat rearers like Pinki, on adopting improved goat management practices with regular administration of preventive measures. With her services and support, Pinki ensured timely preventive health care, adequate sanitation, and shelter for her goats that enabled her to increase her herd size and enhance her income from goats.
Tinku Devi - a case study
The story of Tinku Devi is the journey of a woman from hardship to prosperity. She was unable to meet her family's requirements from the money sent by her migrant husband. She decided to change her fortune by becoming a Pashu Sakhi. By her sheer hard work and consistent effort. She has come our from the darkness of extreme poverty and even supported her community in social causes.
She has received multiple trainings on technical components of goat health and management as well as on basic and advanced gender modules. It also gave her the opportunity to travel to Delhi for her further capacity building. With all the trainings and exposure visits, she became a very well-trained Pashu Sakhi. She started delivering preventive health services like deworming, vaccination, castration, herbal medication, and more, with a very professional approach. She has also proactively engaged herself in social activities by supporting women in her community.
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