Poultry farming has an important role to play in every climate resilient agricultural operation directed towards the economic upliftment of the farming communities. However, the low productive traits of the indigenous chicken have always been a hurdle for economic upliftment of the poor farmers. The village Punioni-Baghchung had a similar scenario in context to the backyard poultry farming.
Taking stake of the prevailing circumstances KVK Sonitpur, Napam extended its supporting hand to the resident farming communities of the Punioni-Baghchung village. The KVK has organized various programmes at Punioni-Baghchong since the inception of the NICRA project to encourage diversified agricultural activities for improving the economic status of the resident farm families.
Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Sonitpur has introduced the dual purpose 'Vanaraja' breed of poultry in the NICRA village for enriching the backyard poultry sector through escalation of meat and egg production. Under the milieu, 600 Vanaraja chicks were distributed among 30 selected beneficiaries. These low-input technology birds have the advantage in terms of colour and hardiness like local bird, high egg laying capacity (160-180 eggs/year) and higher weight gain than the local birds. Moreover 'Vanaraja' has better resistance against common poultry diseases and is highly adaptable to the free range rearing with minimum supplementation of locally available feed ingredients.
Impact of the KVK Intervention:
Production performance of the Vanaraja birds in the adopted village:
The performance of Vanaraja in the selected locality clearly indicates that it is a suitable bird for backyard rearing and has a considerably higher production potential than the indigenous chicken. A number of farmers in the adopted village have managed to hatch their own Vanaraja chicks with the help of local broody hens. Farmers have used the Vanaraja males for upgrading their local chicken and have successfully hatched crossbred chicks. The earnings from the sale of male Vanaraja birds have been considerably high. These birds are often sold locally at a premium price of Rs180 -200 / kg. Moreover earnings from the sale of Vanaraja eggs have considerably added to the gross economic return of the poultry units. These eggs have been sold locally at a price of Rs 5.00 to 6.00/ egg. The income from the Vanaraja bids has encouraged the farm families to adopt scientific managemental skills for rearing of poultry in their backyard. The successful introduction of Vanaraja at Punioni-Baghchong has drawn the attention of other resident farm families that were previously unaware of the low-input technology birds like Vanaraja. Of late many farm families have came forward with a deep interest of rearing Vanaraja birds for income generation.