This Working Paper for the South Asia regional hub of the Pro-Poor
Livestock Policy Initiative presents the case for using poultry, in very
small units of 5-10 adult birds, as a means of alleviating the poverty
of rural women in the region. Policies and procedures that affect the
success of such initiatives are examined.
The author draws on personal experience and an extensive literature
review. The main focus of the paper is a review of what is known as the
Bangladesh Model. Emphasising that this is not a static model, the
author explains its evolution by Bangladesh's largest NGO, BRAC,
working with the government department responsible for livestock
services. The main feature of the model is that the supply of inputs and
services are turned into income earning opportunities for poor people.
The focus is on poverty reduction, rather than on increasing the supply
of eggs and poultry meat. The main components are the involvement of
NGOs that have access to groups of very poor women, the provision by
NGOs of micro-credit and training to help groups establish small,
semi-scavenging, egg-laying units, and special training for poultry
workers, feed distributors and egg traders.
The Bangladesh model has been incorporated into several major,
Danida-sponsored development projects. The paper includes a discussion
of its impact on poor families, and the policy and institutional
implications that have arisen, in particular the role of government
support in terms of the provision of veterinary and other services,
research and training.
The Bangladesh experience is contrasted to that of India where, in some
States, the commercial sector has a strong presence. The author
recommends that a survey be undertaken in India and Nepal that should
examine livestock policies at (selected) State and at central level. The
experiences of NGOs that have used poultry as a means of alleviating
poverty should be explored and also the degree to which understanding,
skills and knowledge exist in organisations responsible for policy,
field level implementation, and research and training.
A two page executive summary is also available in addition to this
PPLPI, FAO, Rome, Italy, v+34pp.