Backyard Poultry Farming as Alternative Livelihood for Sundarban Women


Backyard Poultry Farming as Alternative Livelihood for Sundarban Women

Inhabitants of the coastal regions of West Bengal, especially women who were engaged in saline river water fishing of prawn seed, juvenile fish and crab are now empowered and engaged in alternative sustainable livelihood. Thanks to the intervention of Nature Environment and Wildlife Society (NEWS), that helped develop a specific stewardship model.

This model focuses on alternative sustainable livelihood as well as long term protection of the vulnerable and fragile mangrove ecosystem through active involvement of women’s group, assuring them not only increase in their income without disturbing their daily household chores, but also negation of possible health hazards due to long exposure to salinity. This intervention having implemented Backyard Poultry Farming (BYPF) as the most viable alternative livelihood activity in the region, today boasts of a 34 member women’s group adequately trained in this stewardship model of NEWS, at the Mathurakhand village of Bali 1 Gram Panchayat, Gosaba block. The results achieved so far are commendable.

Titled, ‘Rehabilitation and Protection of Tropical Mangrove Ecosystems as a contribution to Climate and Coastal Protection’, Funded by Global Nature Fund and the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), this intervention by NEWS has the much needed convergencefrom the Government schemes under the Department of Animal Resources Development, Government of West Bengal and support from Ramkrishna Ashram Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Nimpith.

Women being provided with layer chicks along with 3 month feed, training in construction of chicken coops, training on monitoring the growth of the chicks, training on production of chicken feed using local raw materials, were few of the activities of the intervention.  It is important to note that the beneficiaries of this project/intervention, under the banner of ‘Badabon Farmer’s Producer Company’, are able to sell their organically farmed produce of eggs and chicken in the city of Kolkata, earning them a comparatively higher income.

The project is an ideal model that showcases a perfect synergy of various stakeholders maintaining the highest ethical standards to achieve its overall objective