Poultry corporate Keggfarms has returned to rural
backyards as part of its rural poultry programme.
Keggfarms wants to keep benefits of poultry within the countryside while
making it more profitable for the housewives who rear the chickens. They
achieved this by genetically breeding high-yielding chickens, called kuroilers
, and supplying them to the village women.
Keggfarms founder, Vinod Kapur, says his firm's experiment with rural
poultry is now nearing a decade and he has no regrets. â€œWe gave the women
genetically-bred chicken from seeds made in the laboratories of Keggfarms. They
were less prone to diseases, stronger, gave more eggs and could be used for eggs
Keggfarms appointed 2,000 vendors to sell chickens. These vendors got
Keggfarms special kuroilers from yet another 2,000 mother units spread across
The mother units are independent, self-funded micro enterprises. The
vendors buy from the units and sell them in the villages. The housewives buy
them and sell the eggs as well as the chicken itself for meat in village
markets. The women earn Rs 300 - 400 (€5.5 - 7.3) a month.
There is no sophisticated system to market products or any intervention to
multiply the profits of the women by drawing them into food processing or other
â€œThe rural poor were out of the poultry revolution, now they are part of
it. At least 800,000 people are part of it,â€ Kapur says.
Keggfarms, which started in Kolkata in the late 1990s, has added 100-odd km
to its reach every year, and in 2006 sold 18 million chicks.
Kapur's work has been recognised Harvard Business School as a development
model. The National Dairy Development Board is documenting the Keggfarms model
as one for sustainable rural development.