Bakra Eid 2020: Date, Significance, History, Observance !!Eid Mubarak!!

Bakra Eid Mubarak

Bakra Eid is just around the corner. In 2020, this festival will be observed from the evening of 30 July to the evening of 31st July.

Muslims all over the world have started the preparation for this most sacred and joyous celebration of the year. This ‘festival of sacrifice’ is the most auspicious occasion where they spread happiness, love, and care to others as well. Every face is brimming with joy and excitement. Whether it is the new dress or the gift; the reason for happiness is all over. Continue reading “Bakra Eid 2020: Date, Significance, History, Observance !!Eid Mubarak!!”

National Animal & National Livelihoods

Post Dadri, there had been quite a debate on the above issue. We propose to Vote for goats as National Animal of India, We have following logic for national integration and communal harmony –

  1. Goat is one of the first domesticated animals since Human civilization so in all probability our ancestors found some strong logic for survival.
  2. Goat is herbivorous (pure vegetarian) and meek (highly docile) animal, even in its wild form it’s not dangerous.
  3. Its spread is far more from the high Himalayas to desert to dense forest and delta region.
  4. Serves both in flood and drought alike.
  5. If fed well and under good management can provide milk as can be milked number of times in a day (Milk need not be stored for consumption)
  6. Muslim and Christian relation already values it as a sacred animal and Hindu civilization beginning shows its adoption.
  7. Provided milk and meat both, so whatever choice it has a reason for rearing.
  8. The geographically most versatile animal in India and across the globe (Can have Global nomination tomorrow – After Yoga, we can promote it as India’s highest number of breeds for various agro-climatic zones of The world)
  9. Father of Nation (Mahatma Gandhi) named is “Poor Man’s Cow” and in that way, it can potentially replace Cow sentiments.
  10. Only it can climb high mountains with load and used in trades in the old days.
  11. It provides high quality fibers and hairs (Pashmina).
    If still you are not convinced, we can have voted by the poorest people, malnourished women and children which we have 66% of the population, and by the democratic process, it has the highest vote share.

Hope logic prevails and democracy wins ……..at least in livelihoods domain

Why Some profession remain with low Social status in spite of critical services like food & Nutrition security

Some professions like a butcher, small livestock traders, goat grazers, cleaners, and street sweepers, truck drivers due to various social reasons hardly get recognized for their professional services and most often seen with low social status.

The Goat Trust sample-based study in U.P and Chhatisgarh showed that only 12% of Goat traders have bank accounts and had done any transaction through banks. Only 3% had accessed credits from a bank for goat trading. As goat trading is a cash-based trade. Low capital most often leads to low procurement and to recover the human cost, procurement price has to be kept low. A study in the MPOWER project area of western Rajasthan showed that Goat Trader takes credit from bulk goat trader either @Rs 12% monthly or 30% share in profit. Once the cost of procurement gets high, the only way to manage for them is to pay less price to Farmers to increase margins.

Goat grazers themselves are most often that family member who was not able to adjust with any other avocation. They are most often aloof and big herd keeper invests morning to evening in goat grazing. Shepherds and migrating shepherds are similarly occupation-related examples of exclusion from mainstream development programs.

Development programs today need to identify such occupational exclusion, reduce entry, and exit barriers to such occupations and provide access to training and financial and non-financial services to these excluded families. Providing them honor and recognition can help them to get better social status and improve self-esteem. Due to the negligence of such professions, we lost the traditional wisdom of practitioners as they remained aloof and nobody documented their life long experiences.

We have made a classical case at village Jhakharana, where a goat farmer (Aged 82 now) once had a goat yielding 5.5 liters of milk daily and shown to Israel representative by our PM J. L. Nehru (He narrates the whole story vividly even today) but he never received any recognition from the society except the show of his prudence and skills. He felt neglected and was bubbling with enthusiasm when we asked about how and where we could develop such high milk yielding goats.

At The Goat Trust, We find goat trading is such a huge business but goat trading had not attracted any educated person to systematize the business and process (otherwise it is highly systematic, I am referring to the use of technology to enhance effectiveness here). We have planned to launch a program for a certificate course in goat trading and marketing management and training had been given to all new community Livestock Manager. We find that the outcome is significant as 30% educated rural Youth venture into goat trading either full time or part-time basis.

Such effort we feel can enhance the supply of trained technology laced educated rural youth to increase competition and effectiveness of the age-old business process, provide employment, and enhance doorstep price paid to the farmer. Technology, in fact, changes the face of such occupation and NRLM needs to identify such technology and pilot initiatives that can enhance market and trade inefficient and large scale systems.

Train youth as Rural Farm Scientist– where knowledge leads experimentation and experiences

Diversity of India in terms of geographical, natural, social, and cultural resources provides a challenge to test out absolute knowledge and technology, a local test, and adaptation have done by farmers themselves to enhance the adoption of new practices.

The Shepherding school (Bakari Paalak Paathshaala) concept led by The Goat Trust has tested this idea and principle to change goat farming practices with some success and still needs a lot of sincere effort.

Here the major role of the facilitator is to design an experiment and 16 major learning exercises had been designed through tools like flex and games. Goat farming women were facilitated to one major problem they are facing and want a solution. In some cases, the facilitator observes goat farming and identifies key problems and facilitates sessions.

A presentation through the tool is made to share problem statements and suggested solutions for the same. Then a discussion on how and why part of it is facilitated. Some volunteers are selected from the group to do an experiment and within the scope of the experiment control group and experimental group is identified.

Also Read: The Smallest Innovation

Now resource for the experiment is handed over under the guidance of trained livestock nurses to carry out the experiment. Depending on the issue identified, a period of an experiment to a maximum of 30 days (depending on seasonality if the season is a variable factor) is carried out. Livestock Nurses record the verifiable parameters and the learning group makes a visit in the next meeting to find out the difference and understand the experiences of a farmer who have undertaken experiments.

Based on subjective and objective assessment, a future course of action is decided and the supply chain for input or material supply through the collective business center is established.

Let’s understand it by an example. If green leaves are getting waste in a goat farming village, the facilitator makes a presentation through recently taken on the spot pictures, how much leaves are wasted, and present it to the group. A discussion on water used for green leaves production and labor involved in carrying such leaves to goat house is discussed in smaller groups and consolidated in plenary.

Then a solution of hanging green fodder or green fodder stand design is suggested through flex based picture tools.

Now a control group is selected who will use this stand and will record wastage of green fodder (Livestock Nurse have to take record) for 7 days. Similarly recording wastage by non-stand owners prevalent in the village.

In the next school meeting scheduled at monthly interval these data, observation, and experiences of farmer adopting it is shared. A plan is developed that wish to adopt this practice and how low-cost stand based on the presented design principle from local materials can be made. An action plan for field support and field follow up is shared.

Although we designed learning on this process we found we had high success where the right facilitator and person with the right background of technical knowledge were present and medium to low where the process was compromised.

Many times textbook knowledge like feed supplementation output was challenged especially when leguminous green fodder was plenty or season just after harvesting when fallen grains in the field were taken by goats. So a general recommendation of feeding grains to goats was found just to increase cost and marginal or low proportionate return on investment. Such general recommendation also increases working capital or cash requirement of farmers making them averse to new practice adoption suggested in a normal training program.

This process of learning has raised a scientific temperament in farmers and needs to understand the context and variability of resources to knowledge disseminators or technical experts. One of the important changes had been found on the use of local materials to make a design if tools or suggested practices, which otherwise is costly if made and supplied from outside and local self-dependence is also put to restriction.

We understand that need of the country is developing rural farm micro scientist to undertake such process where technology integrates with context and a social process of learning by experience and building on experiences is developed. Id we need to enhance scientific temperament of our rural farmers, we need to promote such grass root level scientists, who are apt to do experiment with farmers and facilitate a conclusion based on context and our higher-level research institution may provide support to train and groom and collaborate with such group of rural farm scientists.

At least in small livestock farming we see a bright future to train our science graduates and 10+2 bright students to take a career as rural farm scientist and make a change in the landscape of small livestock farming like goats and duck farming on a large scale.

The Smallest Innovation

Fuel collection as on average consumes 20% of rural women’s time and adversely affects life quality as distant places and in summer heat has to be health hazards. As for ultra-poor families keeping large livestock is getting difficult (Cow dung cake is a preferred fuel in remote rural areas), a serious question was how to use part goat dung manure as dung cake and what could be its shape and size for effective burning and easy handling.

Background research has shown that goat dung has almost 4 times more calorific (heat) value than cow dung cake (11.02 and 3.9 Kcal/kg respectively).

Challenge was shape and consistency to make goat dung as cake which can be stored and easily used as fuel.

At The Goat Trust, we had worked on some mixing formula, and finally, sawdust and coal dust seem right ingredient and circular flat as right shape to use goat dung as fuel. Research is still under trial but we had tried some shapes and found it works. We shall be using it under various types of rural chullah now and would note practical heat time and heat quality.

Most interestingly this could be women’s employment opportunity as this value chain provides employment to aged and women in product making. Initial results have some positive indication and we have dreams weaving up.

Hope soon next level of refinement …. let’s work on small ideas for a big change.

Note – This article is under the development phase. Please wait for detailed process and output as our design, research and trial are still under process.

Communication for change: Village is a micro world

Goat is a symbolic animal to represent the status of “Rural India” – Stoic, gives without expecting much in return, hardly harms unless it’s beyond the limit, consumes less of energy/cost, produces small but consistently.

Like Goat, villages sacrifice and get exploited for someone’s greed. Blamed for environment degradation by Urban people who pours sewage in river, Contribution through food production critical but overlooked by term GDP, Everybody knows the truth but enjoys silence.

Goats and Rural India have many similarities in terms of status, contribution, and mainstream perception, and hence one year back when we thought to name magazine “MY Goat ” MY Village” found a correlation…….

Our village is a micro-world in itself and each village has its own social, political, economic, and cultural entity and survives with neighbor villages interacting on almost all principles the way a country in the world today exists. Understanding a village to its core is understanding the world at the micro level but with a more clear cut understanding of why and how things happening.

Also Read: Certified and socially secured livestock traders, can do wonders

Indian villages have a rich history well-articulated and culturally transferred to the next generation. Village and its culture if understood in-depth look like a living body who has seen pains of people inhabiting, new generations growing and migrating, resources getting from abundance to significant to scarce.

However story of the village and its economy, resources, development, and pains are least reported by our mass media except for crises or crime.

Goat is a symbolic animal that represents the status of “Rural India” – Stoic gives without expecting much in return, never harms unless it’s too much, consumes less of energy/cost, produces small but consistently. Like Goat, villages sacrifice and get exploited for someone’s greed.

The Goat Trust had innovated a low-cost media to initiate a focused discussion and documentation around small livestock-based livelihoods issues. This led to the genesis of E-Magazine “My Goat: My Village”.

“Meri Bakari: Mera Gaon” – “My Goat: My Village” as a monthly magazine by The Goat Trust is an endeavor to discuss the existing state of affair and share experiences of innovations by local community and organizations to make some positive change in oldest livelihoods source for the entrepreneurial but resource-poor rural mass.

A small team works on its development and The Goat Trust sponsors the cost of a magazine through its corpus. Magazine presently reaches to over 2000 development professionals with both of its Hindi and English editions.

The greatest limitation as of now is the magazine is unable to reach people whose story we document as print versions require a significant cost. The greatest satisfaction is, it has helped many individuals and organizations to appreciate the role of small livestock in the rural economy and for deprived and less formally educated rural aged, women, and unemployed, who are unable to get the benefit of digital India or stand up India.

Magazine intends to bring into debate news from villages and their economy so that many of us can feel roots still survive as 60% educated people still have a childhood in these rusty villages.

Certified and socially secured livestock traders, can do wonders

Goat and dairy sub-sector study in Chhattisgarh (Sponsored by State Institute of Rural Development) brought one strong point strongly and emphatically – If we want to strengthen goat based livelihoods, we will have to secure and strengthen goat traders.

” We have no identity. police harassed us at each Thana range and Naxalism prohibits us to procure goat from remote areas” ….When a trader shares his problems and troubles to continue in this trade, he perhaps talks a hardcore reality of small traders in India.

As goat business had remained in hands of low educated such hard-working experienced people…..it has to accept disdain and apathy of mainstream for a long time. “We have never received a loan. “As goat is cash-based business, we can not increase our procurement as cash taken from outside attracts 10% monthly interest rate or 30% profit share ” shared a goat trader from Western Rajasthan in Barmer.

Also Read: Technical Empowerment of Rural Women: Experiences

“Transporting Goat is a big problem in Cuddalore ” …shares a women goat trader in Tamilnadu.

“In Munger, (Bihar) we have no such capital to procure and sale goats to Kolkatta, so we operate locally. As interest of capital is high and lots of time is wasted in locating goat seller, we have to keep the margin and give a low price to goat farmers” – A Munger based goat trader shares with his eyes asking a blatant question “why I am taking such an interest in his business at this filthy place, even if I have good clothes, seemingly educated and came to them on a taxi”.

Baharaich (U.P) – Earlier we had a quality and our goats had a good market in Nepal, but now quality has deteriorated and so is a market to the outside area. Significant cost is required to manage goats and we have the least knowledge about medicines ( We normally slaughter goat/buck if they seem ill, so as to save our investment).

As a for-profit company, N.N Breeds & seeds (India) Pvt Ltd through www.pashubajaar.com has focused linking producer to consumer.

www.pashubajaar.com has taken initiatives to register Small livestock traders can &. Registered livestock traders will have linkage with group social security and financial linkage,

As per the business model, they require to trade through www.pashubajaar.com and a part of sales/ profit proceeds will go to create premium funds…….Your help could go a long way to aware livestock traders nearby….call/mail/write for details

In association with The Goat Trust, Company organized two traders workshop in U.P on this partnership model, and the company is doing such a grass-root traders interview now in Rajasthan to take it on the scale for viability …