Friday, July 11, 2008

Gains from Goats

This is why we need selective intervention (funding source may be either internal or external or both) in the developing countries if we are really and economically serious about reducing poverty. This intervention is about providing what is needed the most to generate sustainable livelihood, in this case goats, to the most affected people. Here, goats are given to lower caste families (aka intervention because market always keeps them in dark!) to help them build livelihood. Incentive mechanism works well and there is rise in real income as well.

The innovative project gives participants breeding stock, allowing them to build up herds to the point where they can return the same number of animals they originally received to the program operator, the District Livestock Services Office (DLSO). In turn, those animals are then given to other needy communities who repeat the process.

In the case of the Pokharathok Goat Lending Group-made up of 50 women from the village including Padma Bhitriya-each member was given three female goats, and each group was given two bucks to kickstart the breeding program.

The program has been a major success, with group members' annual incomes rising to NRs17,000 ($270) each, a far cry from their income of around NRs6,000 three years ago.

The goats were provided under the Community Livestock Development Program, a project funded by the ADB which, in 2004, superseded the successful six-year long Third Livestock Development Program (TLDP). The initial program was kickstarted with an $18 million loan from ADB, supplemented by an additional $4 million from the Government of Nepal and local financing institutions.

More here from the ADB.