Giriraj's formula for double farm income: Get egg free with meat and milk
The animal husbandry and fisheries minister said that his department is started integrating animal husbandry with agriculture to double farmers’ income.
Animal husbandry and fisheries minister Giriraj Singh told ET that he is working on a novel idea of integrating animal husbandry and poultry where country fowl and cows or goats are bred in common area feeding on each other’s organic refuse and yield rich eggs and rich meat.
“In 2010, when I was animal husbandry minister of Bihar, I had done this experiment successfully in my own backyard where I reared around 300 goats and 200 hens simultaneously,” said Singh. “Hen fed on the organic refuse of goats and their leftover feed. Surviving on goats’ feed and organic refuse, each hen would lay 150 eggs a year and gained two kg weight - perfect to be a boiler for meat. That way we were able to get a no-cost egg with chicken meat as bonus.”
The minister said the government has commissioned the Indian Council of Agricultural Research's two research institutes at Bengaluru and Izzatnagar (Uttar Pradesh) to study and analyse this innovative model, which can bring revolution to more than Rs 1 lakh crore poultry industry.
“We will implement this model after getting certification from these institutes. This model will help farmers increase their income levels several times without incurring any extra cost,” said Singh.
The animal husbandry and fisheries minister said that his department is started integrating animal husbandry with agriculture to double farmers’ income. He said a pilot project has been started in a small village in Anand district of Gujarat where biogas plant has been installed at 463 milk farmers, 70% of whom also own around one acre of land each.
“The average income of the village is Rs 66 lakh per year by selling milk. We can increase the income to Rs 1.63 crore by integrating milk production with agriculture,” said Singh. “Besides the gas used as energy source, every biogas plant releases dung-slurry as a by-product, which we buy from farmers at Rs 2 a kg and sell them back at the same price by adding more nutrients. The treated dung (manure) increases the productivity of the soil. Farmers will get at least 2 kg more produce than what they have been getting by using chemical fertilisers.”
The minister said the definitive result of this pilot project would come after October. “If we get the desired result, we will implement this model in one village of each district of Gujarat and then subsequently across the country,” he said.