As we all know, India reside in villages. We wouldn’t be wrong if we say that the villages are the feeding bowls of the country. Along with production of food, they had safeguarded the ethos and culture of the nation. There is much diversification between urban and rural areas in terms of living standards, lifestyle, literacy, eating habits, societal behavior and in adoption of the technology but still there exists a bond which binds both urban and rural areas. Rural people foresee urban dwellings for adoption of new trends and technology and urban areas serves as a potential market for the goods so generated by the rural people, whereas, urban people are dependent on rural areas majorly for food and nutrition. Thus there develops a rural-urban linkage among both the sectors. Rural–urban linkages include flows of agricultural and other commodities from rural based producers to urban markets, both for local consumers and for forwarding to regional, national and international markets; and, in the opposite direction, flows of manufactured and imported goods from urban centers to rural settlements. They also include flows of people moving between rural and urban settlements, either commuting on a regular basis, for occasional visits to urban-based services and administrative centers, or migrating temporarily or permanently. Flows of information between rural and urban areas include information on market mechanisms from price fluctuations to consumer preferences and information on employment opportunities for potential migrants. Financial flows include, primarily, remittances from migrants to relatives and communities in sending areas, and transfers such as pensions to migrants returning to their rural homes, and also investments and credit from urban-based institutions. These spatial flows overlap with inter-linkages between sectors both at the household level and at the level of local economies. They include backward and forward linkages between agriculture and manufacturing and services, such as production inputs and the processing of agricultural raw materials. Most urban centers, specially small and intermediate ones, rely on broad-based demand for basic goods and services from surrounding populations to develop their secondary and tertiary sectors. Overall, synergy between agricultural production and urban-based enterprises is often key to the development of more vibrant local economies and, on a wider level, to less unequal and more “pro-poor” regional economic growth. Whilst, to some extent, these flows and linkages exist between all rural and urban areas, their scale and strength are determined by the nature of economic, social and cultural transformations.
Rural-urban linkages matter because rural and urban livelihoods are interconnected economically, financially, and socially. From a rural perspective, most farmers depend on urban markets to secure their livelihoods. Rural households also depend on urban centers or small towns for various services (e.g., hospitals, banks, and government offices) and for the provision of various private and public goods. Moreover, the rural sector benefits from remittances sent by urban-based family members.
Likewise, urban areas are linked to the rural sector through several channels. For example, various urban businesses and enterprises depend on rural demand for their goods and services. They also rely on rural areas for the supply of raw materials. Urban consumers, on the other hand, benefit from cheap and sustained food supply from rural areas. Furthermore, many poor urban households partly depend on rural activities (e.g., farming) for their livelihoods. The rural sector can also act as a buffer from the impact of macroeconomic shocks on the urban economy.
Everyone seems to be well versed with the term “broiler” but not well versed with the practice of “broiler farming”. But those who had adopted this practice had seen a tremendous rise in both their standard and status in the society along with a commendable hike in their bank balances. The transformation of ‘ordinary’ to ‘extraordinary’, with an exemplary chores of all those who adopted broiler farming for their sustenance can be well documented, and these chores will serve as boost for others. Not only the people had contributed to their own status, but their hard work had proved to be an asset to the societal well being and ultimately to the well being of the nation in terms of sustainable livestock rearing practice, food security, and in broader terms to economy. Broiler farming in itself is a microfinance industry requiring minimum of the investments if to be started on a small scale but the outcome in terms of profit is maximum as compared to gains earned from agriculture and its allied fields. Today this microfinance industry has gained prevalence among masses and more and more people are getting interested towards this field and getting an upper hand in the society. The rural people are growing themselves through broiler farming and reaping the marketing potential of the urban areas thus forming a link between the two areas of the developing India.
Progressive broiler farmer;
Here is a tale of a farmer in his mid 60s, who had emerged himself from no one in the society to someone just on the basis of broiler farming. Today he owns a good house, a car, better lifestyle and a better future for his family. The days had passed when he used to be a man with no goal and now he has got his goal and had become self employed and also employing others into his business. S. Janak Singh, a man hailing from a small village named Tanda, faling under Taluq Ranbir Singh Pura in district Jammu had made an exemplary effort in the making of a small poultry farm with all the basic facilities for the birds and had generated his own market for selling of finished birds. Being from a small village does not always means that your dreams and your ambitions are small but it means that you do have the will power to convert them into reality. So is done by S. Janak Singh. Starting his farm in 1991 with an initial investment of hefty sum of Rs. 1.25 Lakh housing 8000 chicks, he had developed his farm so to be looks upon by anyone who wants to succeed in poultry farming. As far as the qualification of S. Janak Singh is concerned, he didn’t even completed his matriculate but today he is man with experience and skills, so skilled that he can teach someone how to rear poultry knowing every single fact about management of poultry birds. In a conversation with him, he told us he had taken an initial free training imparted by then Poultry Development Officer of the Department of Animal Husbandry of J&K State for 15 days and the idea to start the poultry farming was advised by his brother-in-law who was a Government employee. Initially he started his business in partnership with his brother-in-law but later expanded his own business and split up ties with his partner. He had advised many poultry keepers to in expansion of the business and successfully imparted technical help to others in setting up of the farms. Usually people who are interested in poultry farming come to him for advice and get succeeded due to the knowledge and skills imparted upon by S. Janak Singh. When asked about the place from where he purchase chicks, he told us that he import chicks of Vencobb strain from Haryana and Punjab states of the country and he do have some personal contacts there and also get technical help from the officers there in the hatchery. Due to his practice of poultry farming, he had developed very good relations in the society with the officers, doctors and other essential suppliers related to the field. As such, he didn’t felt any stigma by the society or by his family related to broiler farming. It can be said that he is just like other broiler farmers except two things viz. his managerial skills and his linkage with the urban hub of Jammu Region.
He had linked himself in such a manner that all the basic amenities required for the farming are bought from the city and also he, on his own, market his broilers in the urban dwellings of the city. His link can be explained as;
- Buying of broiler feed, equipments, medicine, vaccination, etc from the city.
- Selling of the finished product viz. broilers in the urban areas.
These 2 points makes the vicious circle of S. Janak Singh as both form the rural-urban linkage for him. The urban localities prove to be the best market for the broiler meat so reared by him.
This man is linked to the urban areas also in a view to know the market trends and the price against which the meat is to be sold for, thus making him a perfect example of rural-urban linkage i.e. local rural-urban linkage.
The farm is located in East-West Direction and equipped with the feeders, waterers, bukharis for heat generation, electricity bulbs and pumping set. Separate enclosures for storing poultry litter and incineration of birds have been made. The roof of the farm is shed type meeting all the technical requirements for poultry keeping. The shed is constructed by bricks and asbestos sheet at the top. The time when we visited the shed, the chicks were kept for brooding and every single requirement of the chick was taken care of. The windows of the shed were covered with gunny bags from all the sides, bulbs and bukharis were employed for heat generation. The farm was also equipped with tractor facilities for transportation of feed and other essentials. The built up space was neat and tidy. He follows “all in, all out” method of poultry farming. After marketing of one flock of birds, he told us that he makes shed undergo washing with detergent, flame treatment and fumigation and keep the shed closed for 3 days after fumigation. The sanitation facilities were proper and in lieu of the healthy poultry rearing.
The chicks are imported from Punjab and Haryana states of the country. As soon as the chicks arrive at the farm, he provides them with solution of jaggery, along with electrolyte solution for first three days. He also administers antibiotics as and when necessary along with liver tonic and vitamin mixture. He purchases all the medicine from the local dealer and is in good terms with him that he also lends him medicine on credit basis. He purchase feed from Punjab and provide his birds with three different classes of feed viz. pre-starter feed upto first 10 days, starter feed upto 23 days and finisher feed for rest of the time of the flock in the shed. As far as the vaccines are concerned, he follows proper vaccination schedule meant for the broilers. The brooder stock is shifted to respective sheds at 2 weeks of age.
Marketing of Birds:
In our conversation, he told us that his bird attain body weight of 1kg at 28 days and 1.88 kg (average) at 35 days of age. He usually market the birds at 30-32 days and restrict the feed of the birds at 30 days. He told us during the early days of business, he faced quite difficulties in marketing but during 2005, he came out with an idea of marketing of birds to the urban dwellings of Jammu city on his own. At present, he had developed so good contacts with the wholesalers as well as retailers that he transports his stock to the city for sale on the conveyance of the marketers. Usually he performs all his marketing on his mobile phone. We were very much exclaimed to see that he had established contacts with the retailers of the districts other than Jammu. He sell his stock to the retailers in Samba, Kathua, Udhampur, Reasi, Poonch, Rajouri and even Srinagar districts of the state. The marketing channels are few but he had made every possible use of each one of them. It is hard to believe that a small farmer on the basis of poultry farming has generated such wide contacts, not only in his own locality but also hundred kilometers away from his home, thus citing a well established example of rural-urban linkage.
Although, he also expressed his worries on the cumbersome marketing process he had to undertake. When asked about the remedial measure, he told us that the government should open the one way marketing channel whereby, the poultry farmers should directly sell their crop to government and further the stock should be sold by the government. It should make farmers get rid of the problem of the distribution of the birds from one place to another and they can market their birds at a single place. Further he added that the government should open a meat processing plant in the state to disseminate the bulk crop there and get rid of the price fluctuation during bulk cropping.
When asked about the profit he earns, with a smile he answered that he is satisfied with the chunk he receives. The net profit he earns excluding all the expenses incurred is about Rs. 37,000/- to Rs. 41,000/- per month. Although sometime, losses are incurred due to some non-specific bird losses and epidemics. He reaps about 6 broiler crops an year and he is quite happy with his performance. When asked about the loan, if any, he had taken, he replied that twice he was declined by the bank officials for loan and since then he never thought of taking loan and soared the heights on the capital generated by the successive crops.
SWOT Analysis of the farmer;
- Suitable and spacious poultry farm.
- Round the clock labor.
- Provision of generator for electricity.
- Location of farm away from human dwellings.
- Hand to hand sale of birds.
- Lack of support from government.
- Improper connectivity as the road is broken.
- Insufficient skilled labor.
- Non-subsidized feed.
- Non-disbursement of loans on poultry.
- Taking production to mass scale.
- Expansion of farm.
- Exploring the market trends as the market is always available due to majority of non-vegetarian population.
- To get known with the people of same interest.
- Danger of epidemic among birds as he import chicks from other states.
- Sudden climatic change.
- Heat stress among birds as the farm is not surrounded by trees.
Every business has pros and cons, so do the business of poultry farming. Meeting such an experienced farmer had made it very clear that if the poultry birds are kept under better managemental and managerial skills, one can reap more pros that cons. The role of marketing is utmost important as everyone can rear birds but it takes entrepreneurial skills to market them. The need of the hour is to avail the farmers with proper training and also to facilitate them with the easy and convenient marketing channels to explore the whole skills present in the rural areas of our country. The large population size migrating to the urban will serve as a potent market for the goods so cultivated in the rural areas, thus linking the rural and urban areas and fostering the rural-urban bond.