ICAR-NOFRI Organized Capacity Building Programme for Women on Vanaraja Chicken Farming.

The ICAR–National Organic Farming Research Institute (NOFRI), the erstwhile ICAR Research complex for NEH Region, Sikkim Centre, Tadong, Gangtok organized a three-day capacity building programme for tribal women on “Backyard Poultry Farming with Vanaraja Chicken for Livelihood and Nutritional Security in Rural Sikkim” under Tribal Sub Plan Project during February 20-22, 2019 under the leadership of Dr. Ravikant Avasthe, Joint Director, ICAR-NOFRI. A total of 22 female participants from different villages of Sikkim comprising of six participants each from North, South and West districts and four participants from East district attended the training program.

During the welcome address, Dr. Rafiqul Islam, Principal Scientist, ICAR-NOFRI and coordinator of the training program briefed that the training was organized to train the trainers to educate and train the other farmers particularly women farmers in their respective area. All the participants were very interactive during all the theory and practical sessions given on various aspects of Vanaraja poultry farming. The training programme covered nine 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 soil health management, organic vegetable and crop production in integration with poultry farming.

Dr. Ravikant Avasthe, Joint Director, ICAR- NOFRI addressed the participants and encouraged them to undertake Vanaraja chicken farming as an enterprise for self employment as well as enriching the nutrition of their family by providing good quality eggs and chicken meat. He highlighted the higher production potential of Vanaraja compared to the native chicken in terms of eggs and meat production. He invited the participants to utilize the know-how gained during the three-day training program for increasing production through Vanaraja poultry farming in their respective areas. He highlighted the role of poultry manure in enriching soil with more micronutrient and other essential organic matter for increased production of crops and vegetables. Dr. Avasthe further reiterated that backyard poultry farming is very close to organic farming where most of the guidelines are followed.

Dr. Rafiqul Islam, Principal Scientist (Animal Reproduction) and In-Charge, Poultry Seed Project explained in detail and practically demonstrated the floor preparation in deep litter housing system, feeding and therapeutic management of Vanaraja chicks at various age groups. He highlighted the importance of restricted feeding schedule of Vanaraja layers for optimising egg production and also 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 practically demonstrated the techniques for maintenance of hygienic and bio-security measures in the farm premises for protecting the birds from various diseases. The participants have been encouraged and educated with the citation of success stories of many poultry farmers performing with Vanaraja chicken farming in the state. He further stressed upon the employed and students to undertake poultry farming with Vanaraja chicken as it requires about an hour a day which can be managed beyond working hours.

Dr. Ashish Yadav, Senior Scientist (Horticulture) deliberated upon the scope of the integrated vegetable and fruit production in conjunction with backyard poultry farming. He also demonstrated the technologies to the farmers for year round organic vegetable production under low cost plastic tunnel by protecting the plants from adverse climatic conditions as well as from insect, pests and diseases.

Dr. Raghavendra Singh, Senior Scientist (Agronomy) talked about the techniques of 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 including zero till technologies.

Dr. Sudip Kr. Dutta, Scientist (Horticulture) talked about the integration of backyard poultry farming with organic fruit production. He 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. P. K. Pathak SMS (Animal Science), KVK, Ranipool explained the participants about the feeding management of birds for better growth and production with locally available feed ingredients and management techniques of the birds in backyard condition.

Later inputs of 35 nos. of Vanaraja day old chicks and essential vitamin supplement along with handouts about the rearing practices were distributed to each participant. Dr. Priya Chettri, Dr. Padam Lal Luitel, 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