POULTRY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES
Helping families earn an income from raising chickens.
WHAT IS POULTRY DEVELOPMENT SERVICES (PDS)?
PDS is our ‘flagship’ programme launched in 2011. It provides the tools and training (the ‘toolkit‘) for families living in poverty to start a small enterprise from home by raising chickens and selling the produce.
WHO WE TARGET
In rural West Bengal the burden of poverty often falls hardest on women and their children. Women may be excluded from opportunities to earn money due to cultural prejudices, poor education and lack of job prospects and so have little say in household spending decisions. PDS is aimed at women as it allows them to work from home and earn money whilst also caring for the family.
We chose poultry farming for a number of reasons:
- very little land is needed to raise chickens.
- there is a large market demand for the produce (meat and eggs).
- anyone eats chickens and eggs whether Hindu, Muslim or Christian.
- low risk and low start-up costs.
- unsold produce can be consumed by the family.
- the enterprise can provide a regular income over an extended period.
ENTERPRISE NOT JUST AID
PDS aims to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship so we ask all our farmers to make a small financial contribution (currently 400 rupees) to the cost of each toolkit (currently 1100 rupees).
IMPACT OF PDS
Our impact assessments and feedback from our beneficiaries have revealed the many benefits of the programme:
- up to 30% increase in household income from the sale of eggs and mature chickens.
- women become empowered by the ability to earn money for themselves.
- women invariably use their earnings for the benefit of the whole family.
- children benefit from better access to education as there is money to pay for school uniform and books.
- families have a healthier diet – chicken and eggs are a great source of protein.
- more money is available to pay for basic household expenses, reducing the need to rely on unscrupulous money lenders.
- the skills learned and profits earned can be used to start a new enterprise.