Kalawati Devi with her hybrid ducklings at Rukka village in Ormanjhi, Ranchi. The babies can lay up to 250 eggs a year when they grow up. Telegraph picture
Homebred goat and poultry are passé. Rural economy in Ormanjhi, on the outskirts of capital Ranchi, is now on the hybrid path.
Women self-help groups (SHGs) in villages of the block are crossbreeding Rajasthan’s Beetal goats with the local Bangla variety to grow animals that are larger, more prolific and easily adapt to agro-ecological changes. End result: more profit.
Usha Martin — under its corporate social responsibility and through NGO Krishi Gram Vikas Kendra (KGVK) — is aiding this mission.
“In our Rukka village alone, we have 100 young hybrid goats. These need less care and grow faster. They weigh more than the local variety too,” said Bajo Devi, the secretary of Jyoti Mahila Swayam Sahayta Samuh, a women’s self-help group.
While the local variety takes 4-5 years to mature and weighs no more than 18-20kg, the Beetal-Bangla variety can weigh 40-45kg within two years, she pointed out.
Special steel-maker Usha Martin, which through KGVK is promoting rural livelihood, has distributed 4-5 Rajasthani male Beetals each among self-help groups that own local varieties. “The mission is to boost rural economy,” said Anatariksh Bara, the assistant manager of KGVK.
Bara said that a year ago, they had distributed the Rajasthani goats in Ormanjhi’s Rukka, Mesra, Chakla, Neori, Vikas, Dahu, Mesra and Hatwal villages. “We wish to reach out to 52,000 households around Ranchi with our better breed mission. However, we are also taking ample care to ensure that our mission does not wipe out the local Bangla variety,” he added.
While hybrid goats are turning around rural economy, some women self-help groups have also started rearing hybrid ducks and hens.
“The crossbred ducks give as many as 250 eggs a year against 50-60 by the local variety. So do hybrid hens,” said Kalawati Devi, a mother of three, who rears baby ducks and chicks in her house.
“I earn anywhere between Rs 1-1.5 lakh a year through this business. Women who take baby ducks and chicks of improved variety from me also make good profit by selling them after they grow up,” Kalawati said, adding that the hybrid poultry grow two times faster than the local ones.
Local Bangla goats
Adaptation: Vulnerable to
Adaptation: Can withstand severe