Gouranga did not want to end up as a labourer in a far-away city. He had heard the stories from other young villagers who had to migrate there to find a job, and most of them spoke of isolation, stressful working hours, social exclusion and ghastly living conditions in urban slums. Gouranga decided instead to invest a very small amount of money and attend a Green College training, where he learnt about animal rearing and para-veterinary skills.
From the two buffaloes and ten chickens he began with, his farm grew to include 37 more chickens, 32 sheep, 19 goats, 3 cows and 3 calves after the training, which he feeds with fodder he himself produces. Showing off his healthy looking sheep, he beams: “I always wanted to start this business but I never had enough confidence to do so, especially because animals need a lot of medical attention! The training helped me gain the confidence and the skills to do this by myself.”
During the training, he learnt about de-worming and nutrition supplements, so he is now able to look after his animals himself. He also has found out how to use cow dung to make vermi-compost, which he not only uses as fertilizer for his fodder, but plans to turn that into a business and sell it to other farmers.
Wants to expand
The training, and the successes he had in implementing its learning, filled Gouranga with so much enthusiasm, that he has already expansion plans- he wants to grow more varieties of fodder and increase the number of animals. He has applied for a government loan to expand his business and has already started building his new farm, where he plans to soon have 100 goats and 100 sheep. “I want to show other people of my age that livestock rearing, if done properly, can sustain a family, and they don’t need to leave the village to look for jobs somewhere else,” he concludes.
The Green College Initiative is part of the project Green Innovation Center in the Agriculture and Food Sector, funded by the Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ) (German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) and facilitated by Welthungerhilfe and GIZ (Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit).