Three educated youngsters from Haryana have ditched plum corporate job offers to set up a poultry farm and training centre in Pitol village near MP’s to breed Kadaknath, a protein-rich breed also beneficial for patients of asthma and cardiac ailments.
Jhabua, a tribal-dominated area depending on agriculture, is fraught with high malnutrition, low literacy and eventually high emigration rate. Kadaknath tasted popularity in 2015 as a state government scheme wherein chicks of the breed were supplied to 150 poultry farms in Satna to fight malnutrition.
Soon, unemployed tribal women in Dewas started breeding the breed for livelihood. In March, a Kochi-based entrepreneur bought 1,000 eggs of Kadaknath chicken and built poultry centres at Andhra Pradesh, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
“We train farmers to breed chicken so that they can start mini-poultry farms at their houses. We have trained 90 farmers and 15 of them have set up their own poultry ventures,” Vinod Taank, a member of the team told HT. Taank has done his Masters in social entrepreneurship from Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai.
The farmers, Taank said, will earn about Rs 50,000 to Rs 60,000 in each six-month cycle, thus assuring a monthly income of Rs 10,000.
“High demand for the breed has led to an alarming decline in its population. Government incentives and individual breeding has restored their counts. Through this initiative, we are trying to save Kadaknath from extinction,” added the entrepreneur.
“Scientific data state that iron content in Kadaknath chicken is nearly 10 times that of an ordinary breed,” VK Singh, a scientist at Krishi Vigyan Kendra in Jhabua, told HT. A kilogram of Kadaknath chicken sells for Rs 900 and Rs 1200, as compared to the Rs 120-150 price range for other breeds.
After training farmers, the entrepreneurs are planning to train impoverished and unemployed people in the region.