Goat Rearing To Supplement Income

Goat Rearing To Supplement Income

“Goat rearing is not an additional burden on us. In fact, it is our source for additional income,” says Rukha Jani of the Ma Janaki SHG in Nunpur village in Odisha’s Kalahandi district. The group of 10 women received 15 goats of the Black Bengal Variety (14 female and 1 male) through Project Utthan, an Oxfam India-HDFC Bank project, in 2022. The 10-member group has divided their work and share the grazing responsibilities.

The women—all landless farmers—belong to the OBC and tribal communities. Apart from working as farm labourers, these women had no additional source of income. Goat rearing is an opportunity for them to become economically independent. Of the 15 goats, now the SHG have 11 female adult goats and 13 kids (six female and seven male).  If the group members decide to sell the goats in the market, it will be based on the weight of the goat; these tall goats will fetch almost Rs 600 per kg.    

The goats are kept in a goat shed in Rukha Jani’s house. The women made a raised goat shed with a ramp. The goat droppings fall on the ground which are then scraped out and the goat shed remains clean. This was done to ensure that goats are reared in a clean environment and they do not get any infection. The 200 square feet goat shed was made by the contribution of the women members; they contributed between Rs 1000 and Rs 1500 per head.

The goats are grass fed. The waste from the crops in the farms is also a part of their feed. They are taken out twice during the day by a batch of 2-3 women members. “We take them out for grazing once we finish our morning chores of cooking, cleaning and sending children to school. The women members are very responsible about the goats and at least 2-3 of them are always available to take them out for grazing,” says Rukha Jani.

The women members keep a close eye on the goats. They have in the last one and a half years lost two goats to dog bite. The goats are vaccinated and they have insurance. The women SHG members have also been trained by a Veterinarian doctor; they call up the doctor whenever they feel that the goat is unwell or requires medical assistance.

When we met the women in March, they were not worried that the goats hadn’t yet started giving them returns. Rukha jani explains, “We want to make sure we have a good, healthy stock. And we are confident that the goats will give us good income. We have plans of spending that money on our children’s education and this they will be able to do so without having to borrow money from the local mahajan.”

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