Linking business with pro-poor development - a backyard poultry value chain increases assets, income and nutrition

Linking business with pro-poor development - a backyard poultry value chain increases assets, income and nutrition

Innovative backyard poultry  value chain

There is a growing evidence about the role that backyard poultry production can play in sustaining and enhancing poor peoples’ livelihoods. Market oriented backyard poultry is increasingly recognised as a stepping stone for the poor to move out of poverty. Based on a case study from West Bengal in India, this practice note shows how the private sector can create a viable business model, build rural market acumen, and doorstep delivery mechanisms by leveraging the traditional knowledge of women rearing backyard poultry. Some of the key elements that contribute to the success and sustainability are:

  • applying the right technology
  • innovation in dstribution channel
  • adopting a pro-poor approach
The authors highlight lessons learned from the case study and suggest that this model is worthy of replication because it demonstrates how the private sector can re-adapt their business and bring in expertise to build rural livelihood enterprises:
  • Strong delivery chain: a key learning is the structure of the value chain. Close coordination of the chain for flow of goods, services, and information and economic interdependence of agents in the chain contribute significantly towards its effective functioning.
  • Profit beneficial for all: profit motive is generally associated with exploitation but it can be a binding factor that assures sustainability deriving from the inter dependence of all stakeholders
  • Need for greater technical cooperation: stronger technical support to the value chain might help address many issues. Finding networks,alliances and partners to upgrading the technical skills of the agents within the value chain will be very beneficial as the information will flow well to the farmer level.
  • Role of government agencies: the relevant arm of the government needs to be more pro-active in surveillance, disease control and provision of extension information.
  • Working within rearers resource base: rearers value the business because of low rearing costs and fits well within their limited resourcebase, social hierarchies, anxieties and gender based household dynamics. These elements are critical for the sustainability of any initiative.
  • Public-private cooperation: there are significant spaces and avenues for private companies and government to work together cooperatively and collaboratively so as to combine their strengths for further enhancement of poultry-based livelihoods. This model showcases the openness and scope for such an initiative and role sharing especially in areas concerning research and development and building sustainable delivery channels.