unpacking the 'poor productivity' myth - women resurrecting poultry biodiversity and livelihoods in...

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1800 women of East Godavari, Andhra Pradesh spell out the new principles for in-situ indigenous poultry development! This initiative lead to a remarkable reduction in mortality, tripled financial benefits from poultry rearing, worked as a trigger to diversify agriculture practices and allowed women to reclaim their lost poultry heritage. This note captures the womens journey from marginalization to empowerment and answers two key questions How can indigenous backyard poultry contribute to livelihood development? & Are these initiatives sustainable? [ Originally posted on http://www.cop-ppld.net/cop_knowledge_base ]


  • 1.Good Practice Code: SAGP25Good Practice NoteUnpacking thePoor Productivity MythREGION : South AsiaCOUNTRY: IndiaSTATE: Andhra PradeshDISTRICT : GodavariSOUTH ASIAPro Poor Livestock Policy ProgrammeA joint initiative of NDDB and FAO

2. GOOD PRACTICE OWNER and GOOD PRACTICE CHAMPIONSA GP Owner is a person/group of individuals and/or institution that plays a crucial rolein the GP. Thus, a GP owner understands all the ins and outs of the GP and is often theinitiator of GP.Others involved in the Practice (not considered GP Owners) may be invited to assist inthe filtering and writing process. Such persons, who have insights into what makes theGP pro-poor, are better-positioned to help influence policies. Thus, with their thoroughunderstanding of the GP, they (as an individual or as a team) can function as GPChampions.Unpacking the Poor Productivity Myth:Women Resurrecting Poultry Based Livelihoods in IndiaGoodPractice ANTHRAOwnersGood Authors:Sagari R. Ramdas, S. AshalathaPractice Reviewers:Kornel Das, Lucy Maarse, Mamta Dhawan, Nitya Ghotge,Champions Ravindra Patil, R.K. Pathan, Sonam Rinchen, Ugo Pica-Ciamarra, Wahidul Islam Contributors:Sanyasi Rao, Ch. Nukaraju, N. Rajamma,G. Venkatalaxmi Content Editors: Lucy Maarse, Mamta Dhawan, Shefali Misra,Sheila KoyyanaPhoto Credits: ANTHRAPublisher: South Asia Pro Poor Livestock Policy Programme, a joint initiative of NDDB and FAOSuggested Citation: SA PPLPP (2009) Code: SAGP25, Unpacking the Poor Productivity Myth:Women Resurrecting Poultry Based Livelihoods in India. Good Practice Note, Delhi, IndiaDesign & Layout: Kriti Team, http://krititeam.blogspot.comPrinting: Satyam Grafix SA PPLPP 2009Disclaimer: The designations employed and the presentation of material in this publication do not imply the expression of anyopinion whatsoever on the part of the National Dairy Development Board of India (NDDB) and the Food and AgricultureOrganisation of the United Nations (FAO) concerning the legal status of any country, territory, city or area or its authorities, orconcerning the delimitations of its frontiers or boundaries. The opinions expressed are solely of the author(s) and reviewer(s) anddo not constitute in any way the official position of the NDDB or the FAO.Reproduction and dissemination of material in this Good Practice Note for educational or non-commercial purposes are authorisedwithout any prior written permission from the copyright holders, provided the source is fully acknowledged. Reproduction of materialin this Good Practice Note for resale or other commercial purposes is prohibited without written permission from the copyright holders. 3. Contents Acknowledgements2I. Introduction3II.Background4III. Key Elements of the Good Practice 6IV.Lessons Learnt and Key Elements for Success 14V. Scope for Replication 16 Annexures 17 References19 Unpacking the Poor Productivity Myth 1 4. AcknowledgementsI dentification of Good Practices (GPs) goes hand in hand with developing anunderstanding of pro-poor livestock development, building capacity in documentationand the use of simple tools to sensitize actors, build coalitions and influence policyformulation and implementation.Through a fairly rigorous and iterative process, the SA PPLPP team developed a set ofguidelines1 for identifying and preparing GP Notes. Step by step, teams in Bhutan,Bangladesh and India made considerable progress in identifying and capturing potentialGPs on various themes Smallholder Poultry, Small Ruminants and Livestock andCommon Property Resources related to poor livestock keepers.Although the work of Anthra in conserving indigenous poultry breeds with activecommunity participation has been presented in international forums, SA PPLPP felt that itneeded to be documented as a Good Practice relevant to South Asian countries. SA PPLPPrequested Anthra to send in a draft report of their work in this sector which was forwardedby Dr. Sagari Ramdas (Director, Anthra) and S. Ashalata (Research Coordinator, Anthra).The draft GP note was analysed internally by Lucy Maarse and Dr Mamta Dhawan. Thepractice was found to have been in existence over a long period of time and had sufficientinformation to qualify as a Good Practice. However, to strengthen the note, the authorswere requested to provide more statistical and economic data, case studies showcasingimpact on flock size and livelihood, etc. Both authors were inspired and motivated toimprove the first draft version and based on the advice and comments received from thecoordination team, Dr. Sagari Ramdas sent in a second draft soon thereafter. The seconddraft was then forwarded for a peer review to Kornel Das, M.A. Saleque, Ravindra Patil andUgo Pica-Ciamarra. We are indeed grateful to them for providing inputs that have helped inrefining the GP Note. The third draft was edited by Dr Mamta Dhawan and Ms. ShefaliMisra wherein information sent in by Anthra and collected through internal research wasincorporated. Finally, Lucy Maarse (SA PPLPP) prepared the fourth and final draft.Many persons, therefore, have contributed to this Good Practice Note and each input,howsoever small, greatly strengthened this document. We are grateful to Dr Sagari Ramdasand S. Ashalata for remaining enthusiastically involved all through drafting of the GP Note.Our gratitude also goes to the staff of Anthra, Yakshi and members of Girijana Deepika fortheir contribution in this Good Practice Note.1Concernedguidelines areavailable at:http://sapplpp.org/mainpage-information-hub2 GOOD PRACTICE NOTE CODE: SAGP02 5. I. IntroductionRearing indigenous backyard poultry is an important occupation in low-income and food-deprived areas. This form of poultry production is based on low-cost technologies and isinherently pro-poor, since it is practiced primarily by poorer groups. The practice generateshigh quality protein, additional income to small farmers, especially women, in ways that areecologically sustainable and often have strong religious and socio-cultural value forcommunity life. However, while recent trends in poultry production show remarkable growth2in large-scale commercial poultry , backyard poultry is often surrounded with myths like poorproduction potential, stagnant and ill-suited to contribute to livelihood generation. TheIndian picture is thus lopsided and, notwithstanding the impressive production resultsachieved, because of which India is today worlds fifth largest egg producer and eighteenthlargest producer of broiler, (Mehta R., 2002), it has not significantly contributed towardsimproving livelihoods of rural poor for whom a few indigenous birds are often the onlybankable assets3.Box 1: The Truth aboutGiven these trends, the percentage of nativeBackyard Poultrybirds in the total poultry population hasdropped from 50% about 30 years ago to There is growing evidence that when efforts areabout 10% now (Rangnekar and Rangnekar, made towards enhancing indigenous poultry, itcan contribute to income, employment and rural1999). The main reason why this is so is theasset creation. As an example, statistics from the2 Poultry has grownpre-supposition that indigenous backyard at 6% during theGovernment of Chhattisgarh reveal a steady rise1980s, acceleratingpoultry is not livelihood intensive, whereas in desi (indigenous) poultry from 34.2 lakh in to 11% in 1990s andnumerous pilots and studies have revealed 2002 to over 40 lakh in 2006 (GoCh 2007). This nearly 19% during 1997-2002. About 1.8that when intervention mechanisms are growth has largely been attributed to targeted million tonnes ofstreamlined and constraints like high efforts undertaken by the Livestock Departmentpoultry wereconsumed in 2007mortality, poor vaccination, feeding, and the efforts of the DANIDA supported Bastarand is projected tomarketing, training, credit and information Integrated Livestock Development Programme grow to 2.3 million tonnes by 2010.are removed, the true diversity of backyard that initiated indigenous poultry development 3 For classification ofpoultry is realised and a treasure of genetic activities in the tribal districts of the State. Inpoultry productionpotential is unlocked (e.g. resistance to viral addition, studies from Bangladeshs smallholdersystems see Annexure 1; sectordiseases, salmonella, internal parasites etc.). poultry development interventions reveal that4A and 4B are the low productivity of indigenous poultry is due tobackyard systemsThis Good Practice Note presents anpoor management and feeding systems rather and together with sector 3 small-scaleargument for promoting indigenousthan inherent low productivity (Sarkar et al,confined, they formbackyard poultry through case review of an the small holder 2006). Comparative studies also reveal that eachpoultry systems /in situ poultry biodiversity conservation andsystem of poultry has relevance in specific village-based poultry situations. As an example, while the Bangladeshproduction systems.livelihood generation effort that successfully 4 Lead NGO Anthraenabled women poultry rearers to reducepoultry model might produce substantially and its local partnersmortality, triple their financial benefits and higher returns on investment, it requires several Girijana Deepika and more support components like formation ofYakshi worked inreclaim their lost poultry heritage. InitiallyEast Godavari, village groups, credit facility, input supply,supported by a consortium of NGOs4 (NonAndhra Pradesh from breeders and hatcheries to be in place. Thus, in 1996-2008 andGovernment Organisations), this exampleprovided womens many places, strengthening the traditional groups (gottis),also presents a sustainable community lead scavenging system has its own advantages and technical andinitiative that today functions on its own,relevance as per the resource availability andorganisational support to meetunder the aegis of a federation entirely run bycontext. programmewomen. outcomes.Unpacking the Poor Productivity Myth3 6. II. Back