ICAR-NOFRI Conducted Entrepreneurship Development Programme for Unemployed Youth on Vanaraja Chicken Farming.

The ICAR-NOFRI, Tadong, the erstwhile ICAR Research complex for NEH Region, Sikkim Centre has been distributing Vanaraja day old chicks to the farmers of Sikkim under Poultry Seed Project since 2010. More than 3.6 lakh Vanaraja day old chicks have been distributed to the farmers of Sikkim under the project since its inception. During the current year, more than 80,000 numbers of Vanaraja day old chicks have been distributed to the farmers covering all the districts of Sikkim. To reduce early chick mortality and economic management of the Vanaraja birds for eggs and chicken meat production mass dissemination of the technology at village level is important. Keeping this in view, a three- day training programme for rural unemployed youth on “Entrepreneurship development through Vanaraja Poultry Farming” under Tribal Sub Plan (TSP) Project has been conducted at ICAR-National Organic Farming Research Institute during February 11-13, 2019 under the dynamic leadership of Dr. Ravikant Avasthe, Joint Director, ICAR-NOFRI.  A total of 14 farmers from East, South and West districts of Sikkim actively participated in the programme.

Coordinating the Programme Dr. Rafiqul Islam, Principal Scientist (Animal Reproduction) explained the objective and outline of the programme to the Scientists, officials and the participants at the valedictory function of the Training programme held on February 13, 2019 at ICAR-NOFRI, Sikkim. The training programme covered 10 lectures and two hands on training on housing, feeding, lighting, preventive and therapeutic management of Vanaraja birds both at intensive and backyard rearing systems including organic vegetable and crop production in integration with poultry farming.

Dr. Rafiqul Islam, Principal Scientist (Animal Reproduction) detailed and practically demonstrated the trainees about floor preparation in deep litter housing system, feeding and therapeutic management of Vanaraja chicks at various age groups. He educated the participants about restricted feeding schedule of Vanaraja layers for optimising egg production. He demonstrated vaccination of chicks and adult birds including administration techniques of various oral medicines to Vanaraja chicks and adult birds in feed and water.  Dr. Islam also showed the methods for maintenance of hygienic and bio-security measures in the farms premises for protecting the birds from various diseases. Examples of many successful farmers of Sikkim were also presented before the participants to capacitate them for successful poultry farm. He highlighted the role of Vanaraja chicken in meeting the nutrition requirements of the rural family with the production of high quality eggs and meat with comparatively much higher production rate than the native chicken. The employed and students can also undertake backyard poultry farming as it requires about an hour a day which can be managed beyond working hours.

Dr. Raghavendra Singh, Senior Scientist (Agronomy) deliberated upon organic crop production to support the Vanaraja backyard poultry farming through supply of organic feed ingredients. He also demonstrated the technologies about the organic conservation agriculture practices for major field crop production in Sikkim.

Dr. Matabar Singh Senior Scientist, Agroforestry reiterated that backyard poultry farming is very close to organic farming where most of the guidelines are followed. He invited the participants to utilize the know-how gained during the three days training program for increasing production through Vanaraja poultry farming in their respective areas.

Dr. Chandan Kapoor, Scientist (Plant Breeding and Genetics) briefed the participants and encouraged them to undertake Vanaraja chicken farming as an enterprise for being self employed as the capital investment and labour requirement is very less. 

Dr. Sudip Kr. Dutta, Scientist (Horticulture) talked about the integration of backyard poultry with organic vegetable and fruit production. He also demonstrated the technologies to the farmers for year round organic vegetable production under low cost plastic tunnel.

Sh. Shaon Kumar Das, Scientist (Soil Science) delivered lecture on organic nutrient management for a fertile and healthy soil. He also discussed about the production of bio char from weeds and waste plants. Sh. Das also highlighted the role of poultry manure in enriching soil with more micronutrient and other essential organic matter for increased production of crops and vegetables.

Later each participant was provided with 37 nos. of Vanaraja day old chicks and essential vitamin supplement along with handouts about the rearing practices. Dr. Priya Chettri, Dr. Padam Lal Luitel, Mr. K. B. Basnett, Mr. S. M. Kandwal and Mr. G. D Mehta rendered their active help and cooperation for the smooth running of the program.


-Issued by ICAR-NOFRI