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HomeFarmingGoat farming brings solvency to impoverished families in Chuadanga - Dhaka Tribune

Goat farming brings solvency to impoverished families in Chuadanga – Dhaka Tribune

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Although several species of goats are found in Chuadanga, about 70% of them are Black Bengal goats
Just three years ago Lima Khatun was the face of extreme poverty in her Bishnupur village Damurhuda upazila in Chuadanga. She and her daily wage-earning husband Monwar Hossain were struggling to earn two meals a day for their five-member family.  
Not anymore.
In the past few months, Lima pulled her family out of poverty and started earning a decent income thanks to rearing Black Bengal goats.
The internationally-famed Black Bengal goat, known as the poor man’s cow, has been playing an important role in alleviating poverty in Chuadanga.
Every other house of this rural locality now has small and large farms of Black Bengal species of goat.
Bangladesh's local breed Black Bengal goat is recognized as the best in the world in terms of quality, according to a 2015 assessment by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Black Bengal goats have a worldwide reputation as a source of quality leather, delicious meat and nutritious milk.
Described by the UN as one of Bangladesh’s richest treasures Black Bengal goats are known for their rapid adaptation to any environment and for giving birth to 3-4 offspring twice a year.
This particular breed is known as the “Kushtia Grade” in the international market. However, recently rearing of this goat has become popular in Chuadanga, which is now part of the greater Kushtia.
Not only black breeds but also Haryana, Jamunapari, Totamukhi and Beetle breeds are being reared by the people of this district.
Although several species of goats are found in Chuadanga, about 70% of them are Black Bengal goats. Unemployed youth, new entrepreneurs and poor farmers of this region are playing a leading role in raising Black Bengal goats and providing nutrition to the nation along with earning their livelihoods.
As no extra expense is needed for keeping these goats, women as well as men can easily take care of them.
Getting back to Lima’s story, one day amid her struggles she went to see the activities of Goat Breeding Society run by the Wave Foundation after hearing good things about it from her neighbours.

Lima first bought two goats with a loan of Tk20,000 and built a shelter with a platform for her goats. The two goats first gave birth and within a year and a half, she sold the two goats for Tk30,000. She bought more female goats which gave birth to more kids. Gradually the number of goats on Lima’s farm increased and currently, she rears 23 goats.
Many people have similar stories to share in the region which transformed their life by raising this black goat.
After visiting the four upazilas of Chuadanga, the Black Bengal Goat can be seen on the roads and by-roads of even the remotest area. Some people were seen rearing goats in their homesteads or on bamboo made platforms. Many farmers said they are earning Tk2-3 lakh profit every year by rearing 20 to 30 goats.
Shahabuddin, a goat farmer from Chuadanga municipality, said, "I have been raising goats round the year along with farming. Out of hobby, I bought two goats 24 years ago but now I have more than 50 goats in my house. My family has never been in need since I brought those goats in my house,”
According to the Chuadanga District Livestock Office, about 500,000 are reared annually in the district from which about Tk23,000 tons of meat is produced. At present, goat meat goes for Tk650-700 per kg depending on the quality. The annual income from selling goat meat and leather in the district is around Tk2,000 crore. Besides, by selling goatskins, a large amount of foreign currency is being earned.
“The Goat Development Farm was established in 1997 in Chuadanga to conserve the Black Bengal Goat breed of the district. Every year goats are supplied from this farm in different parts of the country including 10 districts of Khulna division at a fixed price”, said farm’s Livestock Officer Arman Ali.
About 1,000 goats are currently being reared on this farm, said Arman.
District Livestock Officer Golam Mostafa said: “Chuadanga can be called a sanctuary for the Black Bengal Goat as the warm favourable climate here makes it the most suitable area for goat rearing.”
He said about 70% of the district population are involved in agricultural work.
“Raising these black goats is playing an important role in meeting the demand for protein, including a reduction in poverty and unemployment to boost this rural economy,” said the official.
As this breed of goat does not suffer from any disease except cold in winter it has become the most reliable component of poverty alleviation in the district, he said. 
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