Duck farming becomes boon for Rajshahi villagers

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RAJSHAHI, Sept 23, 2018 (BSS)-Rashida Begum, 45, a resident of Beel Sohar
village under Tanore upazila, has been able to break the poverty cycle after
finding the way of a better livelihood though self-employment.

Earning money from duck farming and a grocery shop has now become a
consistent source of income, which is gradually increasing due to rising
local demands.

“The income has driven-out my long-lasting poverty and financial hardship
and uncertainty those I had before,” said Rashida.

The transformation in her life began in 2014. Initially, she received a
loan worth Taka 5,000 from her 60-member Village Development Committee (VDC)
and established a small-scale duck farm at her home.

“Ducks farming is less expensive, simple and commercially viable,” she said
sharing her experience.

Rasheda said that she made good profit by selling ducks and eggs at the
local markets, and eventually opened a grocery shop with earning from the
farm.

“Now, I’m very happy as I have found the path of regular earning through
operating the shop and the duck farm successfully,” added Rasheda, who has no
educational background.

Meanwhile, commercial farming of ducks including gooses are gaining
popularity in the region including its vast Barind tract for the last couple
of years in the wake of gradually increasing nutritional demand and lucrative
market price.

Duck products such as eggs and meat have a great demand in the local
markets. So, commercial duck farming business is being adjudged as a great
source of earning.

Many successful farmers are making a high profit from their duck farming
business. Duck farming business has also become a stable employment source.
Young unemployed educated people are joining the business making their own
employment source.

Hundreds of poor and marginal families have become economically solvent by
rearing ducks. There are more than 2,500 duck farms in Rajshahi division
comprising eight districts and its farming has become more profitable and
sustainable, where Beel areas and wetlands are situated, said ATM Fazlul
Kadir, divisional Deputy Director of Department of Livestock Services.

He said many people raise ducks both on commercial and small scale to get
meat or egg. Even, they raise some ducks on their own backyard with other
birds or animals.

Mahtab Ali, a rural jobless person who completed graduation and failed to
get a job, is presently owner of a duck farm and now able to manage his
family properly. He is an inhabitant of Talanda village.

While talking to the newsman Ali, owner of the farm, said even five years
ago, the income of his father, a poor farmer, was not enough to meet even the
basic needs of their family.

However, he was committed to doing something positive to change the lot of
his family. Therefore, he took a short training course from Rajshahi Youth
Development Training Center in 2008, and set up a duck farm adjacent to his
house.

Some poor fishermen families took loan from NGOs and started duck farming
at their houses.

The Department of Animal Resources also came forward to assist them by
supplying improved, hybrid variety of ducklings.

Dr Jalal Uddin Sarder, Prof of Department of Animal Husbandry and
Veterinary Science of Rajshahi University, said women, particularly the
housewives, are mostly involved in rearing ducks of indigenous species.

Ducks need less expensive, simple and non-elaborate housing facilities
resulting in very less cost for setting up commercial duck farming business.
They are very hardy bird and they need less care or management.

They can adopt themselves with almost all types of environmental
conditions. The ducks are mostly fed home-made feed in addition to what they
are deriving from scavenging facilities.

Most of the farmers provided rice polish, boiled rice and broken rice as
supplementary feed ingredients to ducks either singly or in combination.

High price and scarcity of feed during dry season were the major
constraints affecting duck production. Use of natural feed resources in an
increasing manner may help overcoming the feed problem.

Regular vaccination and the use of cost-effective balanced diets can have
a decisive effect on duck rearing. As a whole, there are great potentials for
an improvement of native duck production in the region by means of
nutritional and management engineering, Prof Jalal Sarder added.

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