Cargill and Heifer International collaboratively have been positively influencing local communities in the country through the Hatching Hope Global Initiative. The 2-year-old project targets to enhance nutrition and income levels via backyard poultry farming and led to a rise in consumption of poultry products in Mayurbhanj, Odisha.

Complying with United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Zero Hunger, the campaign has so far influenced more than 30,000 farmer households through improved backyard poultry production, leading to a better flock health and bird size and enhancing income and nutrition across 1.5 million people in the district in this 2-year span.

Traditionally run by women farmers, supporting backyard poultry production by the drive improves the gender equity across rural households. The programme has already trained more than 1,600 Self Help Groups (SHG) to reinforce women-led institutions and enabled building of new SHGs that can grant their members access to information, services and support required to initiate their businesses.

By eliminating obstacles to women’s economic independence, the campaign assists women farmers to become successful poultry producers, earn a living income and enhance flexibility for their communities. Preliminary data collected on consumption and sale patterns from about 100 farmers indicates that the average consumption of protein- rich food per household has been approximately 20% higher than last year.

Imre Havasi, MD of Cargill’s Animal Nutrition business in India stated- “Hatching Hope has been assisting women backyard poultry farmers and lifting communities out of poverty in Odisha. Through the campaign, Cargill and Heifer have fruitfully been able to aid farmers become sustainable, efficacious animal producers & successful entrepreneurs, who are energetically taking part in the poultry value chain.”

In India, the campaign has advocated enhanced poultry feed with the installment of 30 small-scale feed mills at community level in Odisha. Using a formula collectively created by the Heifer and Cargill India technical teams, the mills manufacture a locally prepared, superior -quality and economical feed mix that enhances the health and weight of birds, while cultivating business chances for local producer entrepreneurs to fulfill the demand for poultry feed.

“Hatching Hope has helped smallholder farmers to become successful producers and aware consumers, which has confirmed sustainable incomes and food security for the most unsafe producer communities,” said Avni Malhotra, country director of Heifer India.

The drive is also motivating small-scale hatcheries to increase poultry production by cutting down the brooding period. It also teaches farmers to develop backyard poultry production as a family business and setting up Farmer Producer Organizations while linking them to the poultry value chain by enhancing market access.

Through mass media and advocacy iniatiatives, communities in more than 400 villages in Mayurbhanj have been trained about the nutritional benefits of poultry consumption. Further utilizing digital platforms and mass media channels, this figure will reach up to 3.2 million people in newer geographies in Odisha by 2022. Creative tools such as android application ‘Storyteller’, IoT toys and digital talking comics are being flourished to augment reach across local communities.

 

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