India

Poultry farmer doubles profit during pandemic

Hard work and perseverance seem to have paid off for N. Ramalakshmi, a poultry farmer from Venthoni village in Paramakudi block of Ramanathapuram district. While businesses up and down the country have been reeling from COVID-19-induced losses, she has managed to double her profit in the midst of the pandemic.

The 43-year-old, who has studied up to Class X, attributes her success to the sale of Kadaknath chicken, the jet-black bird known for its nutritional value.

Fifteen years ago, Ms. Ramalakshmi started rearing cows to financially support her family. “My husband, who was working abroad, did not earn much money. But we wanted to make sure that our three sons got a good education. So, I decided to do my bit to support our family,” she says.

Her sons have now become professionals — a software engineer, a physiotherapist and a civil engineer. Ms. Ramalakshmi currently rears cows, goats, country chicken, Kadaknath chicken and pigeons. She also cultivates millets to supply them as fodder for her cattle.

She says she has been making a profit of ₹60,000 each month for the past four months, which is double the amount of profit she used to make prior to the lockdown. “The COVID-19 pandemic has given my farm a new lease of life,” she adds.

N. Ajith Kumar, her youngest son and a civil engineer, has been helping her run the business since the lockdown began. “In fact, poultry farming has fetched a higher income than a job in an organised sector,” he says.

Mr. Kumar says the sales of Kadaknath chicken, locally known as karung kozhi in Tamil, and its eggs have contributed significantly to the rise in their income. He says they have sold around 500 Kadaknath chicken during the lockdown period. “We have been selling 150 eggs of Kadaknath chicken every day,” he adds.

“Due to the spread of COVID-19, people have become more health-conscious and are opting for Kadaknath chicken for its high nutritional value,” Mr. Kumar says.

Ms. Ramalakshmi says many marginal farmers buy these chicken from her to start their own business. She also sells 30 litres of milk per day.

“Poultry farming is a highly remunerative business. Consistent efforts will definitely yield benefits,” she adds.

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