Duck rearing, poultry farming bring smile among rural women

DHAKA, June 12, 2018 (BSS) – Duck rearing and poultry farming have brought smile on the faces of the poor rural women as they are becoming self-reliant with an increase in their monthly earning but still they have to face multiple constraints to ensure their survival.

Although most of the small scale women farmers in the rural areas complained that they had not adequate loan facilities from the government while the microcredit run by different non-government organizations were not so easy to refund and it [loan payment] subsequently created a burden on the clients due to its higher rate of interest.

“But, now I’m earning at least Taka 17,000 in a month through rearing 100 live ducks and 80-90 poultry birds”, said Jahanara Begum, a small poultry farmer of village Junia of Telekhali union under Bhandaria upazila of Pirojpur district.

But I fear in terms of receiving financial loan from the NGOs as those NGOs are taking around Taka 43,000 againsta loan of Taka 30,000 for a year, she said.

Jahanara, wife of Babul Pallan, a day labour, told BSS that “we have no land except a tin-shed house and pond on four khata of land. Fish cultivation is underway in the pond, she said.

If the loan facility would be available for the small scale farmers at a low interest then it could be beneficial for us, said another 40-year old woman farmer Nasima of the same village who had applied for loan to a commercial bank but at last didn’t get. “I had been earning only Taka 3,000 in a month since seven years ago when I worked as a health worker in BRAC… I’m earning Taka 15,000-20,000 through poultry and duck rearing,” said Nasima who has 100 poultry birds and 50-60 ducks.

Even there is no support from the government regarding the treatment and vaccine of the poultry flocks and that’s why mortality rate of the poultry flocks is high at the remote rural areas, she said.

Besides, the price of poultry medicine is also high as we have to spend at least Taka 3,000-4,000 in a month for medicine and food cost for the poultry birds, said the women farmer.

“We are suffering from lack of adequate manpower and so we could not provide proper service to the rural farmers as we have only three field workers for a whole upazila”, said Upazila Livestock Officer (ULO) Dr Prokash Chandra Biswas of Bhandaria, Pirojpur.

Noted agricultural economist and former Director General of Bangladesh Livestock Research Institute (BLRI) Dr Jahangir Alam suggested that the public and the commercial banks should be ‘client friendly’ as the small poultry farmers in the rural areas get loan at a lower interest rate.

He, however, said that as the poultry production is risky and their profit margin is low so the rate of interest against their bank loan should be not more than 5 to 6 per cent.