Project Title: Goat BankCategory: • Agriculture & Rural Development • Social EntrepreneurshipAbout this Project:In India, 78% of the farmers are ‘small and marginal’, who own less than two hectares of land.These small and marginal farmers practise subsistence farming for their livelihoods. As per the59th round NSSO data, a farmer’s net income from cultivation is a meager Rs. 969 per month andnearly half (48.6%) of the farmer households are indebted. This shows that Indian farmers leadonly a ‘hand-to-mouth’ existence through subsistence farming.Post the green revolution years, mono-cropping and market driven farming gained momentumamong Indian farmers. As per the Development Report “A bitter harvest: Farmers Suicide inIndia”, by Asian Studies Department – University of North Carolina, post green revolution,farmers suffer from indebtedness because of shrinking markets, stagnating crop yields andincrease in production costs. The report also states that between 1993 and 2003, as many as 1lakh indebted Indian farmers took their own lives. This is a testimony to the agrarian distressIndian farmers face today.So, be it subsistence agriculture or market driven mono-cropping system it has only led todistress in the agrarian community. The fate of the farmers remains unchanged.One thing that has always come to the rescue of farmers during periods of distress is ‘livestock’.As per fifth and final report (2006) by National Commission on Farmers, Ministry ofAgriculture, 70 million rural households in India own livestock and 70% of the species areowned by small holders. The number of livestock they own range between 1 and 10 in each ofthese households. These livestock provide immediate cash in times of distress, the numbers theyrear is limited as it is seen as an add-on in subsistence farming. Though this helped farmers tocome out of crises, the livestock continued to be susceptible to disease risk and inbreeding.
One of the ways to come out of subsistence agriculture and the debt ridden farming is by settingup livestock related micro-enterprises. Many farmers attempted setting-up this as amicroenterprise but success is limited and patchy due to the following reasons:a) Unavailability of good quality breeds – breeds available in the spot market is marked byinbreeding. Good quality breeds available through institutions and other means prove expensiveand the numbers (required for microenterprise) are not available in a timely manner.b) Access to finance – Access to formal sources of finance for farmers is a challenge as they areconsidered un-bankable. Only 27% of farmers have access to formal institutional lending (As perthe Final Report by Committee of Financial Inclusion, NABARD).c) Ineffective Extension services – Extension services are not available at door step and notattempted in micro-enterprise scale.We propose to solve the above mentioned problems through our following services: • Breeding and supplying scientifically bred goats to small and marginal farmers at competitive prices. • Provide financial services by tying up with individual investors through crowd-funding networks (Kiva, Milaap, Rang De). • Offer training, feed management and veterinary services to the farmers through our in house team on a paid basis. • Offer market linkages in the form of “Buy-Back option” at competitive prices for the goats reared and linking them to processors.To summarize, our services will help farmers to set-up, run and scale-up micro-enterprises, thus,promoting rural entrepreneurship among rural poor to achieve self-sufficiency.Who will this help Rise? • Small and Marginal Farmers who own 1/2 acre to 5 acres of land • Farm labourers who lease 1/2 acre to 5 acres of land
How will this help them to Rise?Our services will help the small and marginal farmers in the following ways: • Scientifically bred goat supplied by us to the farmers will enable them to address the need of good quality parent stock for goat rearing. This will ensure that the farmers get good returns through better feed conversions. Income of farmers adopting goat rearing micro- enterprise will increase by five times in 18 months as compared to the farmers who practice subsistence agriculture. Increase in income will also lead to improvement in their standard of living. • The veterinary, insurance and feed management services provided by us will help them mitigate the operational risks associated with goat rearing. • The training and capacity building services provided by us will help them developing skill sets to setup and run an enterprise. • Easy access to financial services through crowd funding will help them avoid falling prey to unscrupulous local money lenders. • The micro-enterprise will also make the farmers self-sufficient and bankable.What do I have already?Team: 2 member team with experience in investing and incubating start-up social enterprises inIndia.(A.B. Chakravarthy is a B.Tech (Horticulture) graduate with Masters in Information &Communication Technology in Agriculture and Rural Development (ICT-ARD), DA-IICTGandhi Nagar.Ashish Thekkekara is a Management Graduate from the Indian Institute of Forest Management,Bhopal. )Infrasturcture: The team is in the process of piloting the project at Chockanathapuram villagein Theni District, Tamilnadu. The team has started a captive cultivation of fodder species on 5acres of land. Establishment of scientific breeding center is underway.
Project Task:S. No. Project Task Timeline 1 Establishment of goat breeding center Feb, 12 – July, 12 Create awareness among farmers to take goat 2 July, 12 – Sep, 12 microenterprise Selection of 2 small and marginal farmers and piloting by 3 Sep, 12 – Dec, 12 setting up 2 micro-enterprises. Tying up with crowd funding agencies and livestock 4 Sep, 12 insurance companies. 5 Tying up with partners for market linkage Sep, 12What do I need?Volunteer:S. No. Required No.s Work Description Volunteer to raise awareness among farmers to take up goat microenterprise. 1. 2 Volunteer to convince individual investors and crowd funding networks to invest in goat microenterprise.Expertise: S. No. Expertise Expertise Description for selection and breeding goats, vaccination, training to 1. Veterinarian farmers and to standardize good rearing practice for planning fodder cultivation and optimizing the feed for 2. Agronomist cross-bred goats