One of the major activities of Swanirvar’s Sustainable Agriculture Department was to develop the livelihood skills of the farmers-group members. We also gave small loans to the group members so that they could start small income generating activities by their own. These loans were supported by our technical partner organization, DRCSC, a Kolkata based NGO.
In post AILA (a super-cyclone that devastated entire Sundarban delta in 2009-10) recovery programme, we observed that common people liked to have meat in their food menu. But the situation in most of our project areas was so grave that most of the villagers were unable to rear goat, lamb, hen etc in their homes. There were no fodders and no surplus food-grains for them. At that situation we advised them to rear Pigeons. The reasons were 1. Pigeons were self-fed, they collected their food and not dependent on the owner. 2. Country –pigeons could sustain in adverse weather and common diseases tolerant. 3. From an adult pigeon we could get 250gm flesh. Now many of our farmers were rearing pigeons in their homes. In 2009 our farmer, Purnima Sarkar bought 2 pairs of pigeons and made small cages for them. She made these cages with wooden apple boxes. Now she had many pigeons from these 2 pairs. She had given them some broken-rice and wheat in monsoon.
Below, there was summery of her income-expense statement
Cost of Pigeons: 20.00
Apple boxes : 35.00
Broken Rice: 150.00
In 2010-11: Broken Rice: 400.00
Pigeons sold (46 pcs): 1370.00
Pigeons sold (70pcs): 2100.00
Net Profit: In 2009-10: Rs. 1165.00
In 2010-11: Rs. 1700.00
Pigeon rearing was now getting popular. Now more than 20 farmers were rearing pigeons in their homes.
Supervisor, Agriculture Department,