Backyard poultry is a part and parcel of rural life. It is considered as a women-domain, since the contribution of women in backyard poultry farming is overwhelming. Keeping this in mind, the study has been conducted with an objective to describe the socio-economic status of backyard poultry rearing rural women. The present study was conducted purposively in Banda and Hamirpur districts of the Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh among the 80 backyard poultry rearing rural women. The study revealed that rural women were pre-dominantly young-aged and married, belong to Hindu religion and scheduled caste, with small, nuclear family having medium level of family education status. They are primarily agricultural labourers keeping small size backyard poultry flock as secondary occupation with marginal land holding, low annual family income, low annual income from backyard poultry (21.10% of annual family income).
In India, poultry is one of the fastest growing segment in livestock sector. Currently, the total poultry population in our country is 729.21 million (as per 19th Livestock Census). Egg production is around 82.93 billion during year 2015-16. The per capita availability (2015-16) is around 66 eggs per annum. Improved fowl contribute 86.80 per cent of the production of eggs and 11.96 per cent is from desi fowls with respect to total production of eggs (Basic Animal Husbandry Statistics, 2016). The poultry meat production is estimated to be 3.26 million tones that is 46 per cent of total meat production in India. Poultry production represents an appropriate system to meet the growing need of increasing human population and to provide income to poor farmers, especially women (Gujit, 1994; Alders, 1996; Kitalyi and Mayer, 1998). Backyard poultry can provide a good source of income to resource-poor rural villagers. It also plays a vital role in providing nutritional security in India as, the eggs and meat produced from backyard poultry are rich sources of protein, vitamins and minerals. Products from rural poultry farming fetches high price as compared to those from intensive poultry farming. Birds reared under free range conditions give eggs and meat with low cholesterol concentration and high value biological protein compared to those produced under intensive poultry farming. Women have been considered to be the predominant owners of rural poultry, hence backyard poultry is considered as women-domain. Rural women rear indigenous poultry under extensive system, which serves as a source of self-employment and generating income.
Materials and Methods
The Bundelkhand region of Uttar Pradesh comprises of seven districts namely Jhansi, Jalaun, Lalitpur, Hamirpur, Mahoba, Banda and Chitrakut. Out of these districts, Banda and Hamirpur comprising eight and seven block, respectively were selected purposively as they had more poultry population out of these block, four blocks viz. Naraini and Tindwari from Banda and Gohand and Sarila from Hamirpur districts were selected purposively, as these blocks possessed more number of backyard poultry rearing rural women. Further from each block, two villages to a total of eight villages viz. Aunta, Sarila, Dhagwan, Mamna, Badausa, Atarra Gramin, Amlor and Pailani were selected purposively as, these villages had more number of backyard poultry rearing women. From these villages a list of backyard poultry rearing women were prepared and then consolidated sampling frame for each selected block was prepared. From the four sampling frames, each 20 respondents, rearing five to ten backyard poultry for last two years or more were selected purposively. Thus 80 rural women were selected for the present study.
Data was collected through pre-tested semi-structured interview schedule. The collected data were codified, tabulated, classified and further categorized for systematic statistical analysis. Major statistical tools used for analyzing data were frequency distribution percentage.
Result and Discussion
Socio-Economic Characteristics of Rural Women
Table 1 revealed that 52.50 per cent of the backyard poultry rearing rural women were young (<36 years) while 30 and 17.50 per cent rural women were in middle (36-52 years) and old age (>52 years) categories. The findings indicated that young rural women took more interest in backyard poultry rearing. This is because of the fact that young rural women want to keep money to meet out their routine expenses. Majority rural women were married (86.25%) followed by widow (12.50%) and divorcee (01.25%) which could be resulted due to their lower literacy level. Adisa et al. (2012) and Abdul et al. (2014) reported similar findings which revealed that majority of women engaged in poultry were married.
Table 1: Socio-economic characteristics of backyard poultry rearing rural women
|Variables||Hamirpur (n=40)||Banda (n=40)||Total (N=80)|
|Distribution of rural women according to their age|
|Age (In years)||Young (<36yrs)||22 (55.00)||20 (50.00)||42 (52.50)|
|Middle (36-52yrs)||11 (27.50)||13 (32.50)||24 (30.00)|
|Old (>52yrs)||07 (17.50)||07 (17.50)||14 (17.50)|
|Mean ± SD||37.23 ±10.95|
|Distribution of rural women according to their marital status|
|Marital status||Married||34 (85.00)||35 (87.50)||69 (86.25)|
|Unmarried||00 (00.00)||00 (00.00)||00 (00.00)|
|Widow||06 (15.00)||04 (10.00)||10 (12.50)|
|Divorcee||00 (00.00)||01 (02.50)||01 (01.25)|
|Distribution of rural women according to their category|
|Category||Scheduled caste||22 (55.00)||22 (55.00)||44 (55.00)|
|Other backward caste||12 (30.00)||14 (35.00)||26 (32.50)|
|General caste||06 (15.00)||04 (10.00)||10 (12.50)|
|Distribution of rural women according to their religion|
|Religion||Hindu||38 (95.00)||39 (97.50)||77 (96.25)|
|Muslim||02 (5.00)||01 (02.50)||03 (03.75)|
|Distribution of rural women according to their education|
|Education||Illiterate||11 (27.50)||09 (22.5)||20 (25.00)|
|Functional literate||08 (20.00)||13 (32.50)||21 (26.25)|
|Primary school||09 (22.50)||10 (25.00)||19 (23.75)|
|Middle school||07 (17.50)||06 (15.00)||13 (16.25)|
|High school||04 (10.00)||02 (05.00)||06 (07.50)|
|Higher secondary||01 (02.50)||00 (00.00)||01 (01.25)|
|Distribution of rural women according to their family type|
|Family type||Nuclear family||21 (52.00)||28 (70.00)||49 (61.25)|
|Joint family||19 (47.50)||12 (30.00)||31 (38.75)|
|Distribution of rural women according to their family size|
|Family size||Small (2-6)||22 (55.00)||31 (77.50)||53 (66.25)|
|Medium (6-10)||17 (42.50)||09 (22.50)||26 (32.50)|
|Large (10-14)||01 (02.50)||00 (00.00)||01 (01.25)|
|MEAN ± SD||4.28 ±1.80|
|Distribution of rural women according to their family education status|
|Family education status||Low (<1.66)||09 (22.50)||16 (40.00)||25 (31.25)|
|Medium (1.66-3.33)||25 (62.50)||22 (55.00)||47 (58.75)|
|High (>3.33)||06 (15.00)||02 (05.00)||08 (10.00)|
|MEAN ± SD||2.20 ± 0.93|
|Distribution of rural women according to their land holding|
|Land holding||Landless||13 (32.50)||15 (37.50)||28 (35.00)|
|Marginal (upto2.5 acres)||17 (42.50)||15 (37.50)||32 (40.00)|
|Small (2.5-5 acres)||10 (25.00)||10 (25.00)||20 (25.00)|
|Mean ± SD||1.27±0.476|
|Distribution of rural women according to their occupation|
|Labour||16 (40.00)||02 (05.00)||13 (32.50)||05 (12.50)||29 (36.25)||07 (08.75)|
|Agricultural farming||16 (40.00)||03 (07.50)||11 (27.50)||03 (07.50)||27 (33.75)||06 (07.50)|
|AH (goatry & piggery)||04 (10.00)||05 (12.50)||07 (17.50)||03 (07.50)||11 (13.75)||08 (10.00)|
|Business/trade||03 (07.50)||00 (00.00)||09 (22.50)||00 (00.00)||12 (15.00)||00 (00.00)|
|Poultry||01 (02.50)||30 (75.00)||00 (00.00)||29 (72.50)||01 (01.25)||59 (73.75)|
|Distribution of rural women according to their annual family income|
|Annual family income||Low (13200-33800)||18 (45.00)||22 (55.00)||40 (50.00)|
|Medium(33800-54400)||16 (40.00)||16 (40.00)||32 (40.00)|
|High (54400-75000)||06 (15.00)||02 (05.00)||08 (10.00)|
|Mean ± SD||39495.62±1100.87|
|Distribution of rural women according to their annual income from backyard poultry|
|Annual income from backyard poultry||Low (1650-8166)||23 (57.50)||24 (60.00)||47 (58.75)|
|Medium (8166-14683)||13 (32.50)||15 (37.50)||28 (35.00)|
|High (14683-21200)||04 (10.00)||01 (02.50)||05 (06.25)|
|Mean ± SD||8511.86±1112.38|
55 per cent of poultry rearing rural women belonged to scheduled caste category followed by other backward caste (32.50%) and general (12.50%) categories. It indicates that downtrodden people like scheduled caste rear backyard poultry in their backyard to support their livelihood while other backward category and general caste people involvement is usually less. 96.25 per cent of backyard poultry rearing rural women were belonged to Hindu community, whereas only 03.75 per cent rural women were Muslim in this study area. It shows the inclination of Hindu religion women toward backyard poultry, however, generally Muslim community express more interest in birds rearing. 75 per cent of the rural women were literate and remaining 25 per cent were illiterate. Among the literates, 26.25 per cent of rural women were functional literate followed by primary (23.75%), middle school (16.25%), high school (07.50%) and higher secondary (01.25%).
61.25 per cent respondents had family nuclear type with small family size (66.25%) which is an evidence of social change. Overall, family size was 04.28 persons per family. Chaturvedani et al. (2014) also reported similar findings. 58.75 per cent of rural women belonged to medium family educational status followed by low (31.25%) and high (10.00%) which could be due to lack of educational facility in the study area. The respondents are primarily agricultural labourer and nearly three-forth, (73.75%) reared backyard poultry as secondary occupation. It indicates that their income requirement to meet the family expense. 40 per cent of rural women had marginal land holding category with an overall land holding capacity was 01.70 acres. Dumrya et al. (2015) also reported similar findings. 73.75 per cent of rural women had low level of experience (2-10 years) with overall experience of 07.15 years. It could be due to the reason that young rural women had shown interest in the backyard poultry, which is an additional source of income around the year since ages. 98.75 per cent of poultry rearing rural women were keeping small flock size (5-13) and all the respondents were found to re-generate their flock. This could be due to the reason that majority of rural women preferred to keep and expand the farm from the existing stock through natural hatching to save money. 88.75 per cent of the rural women reared backyard poultry as an additional source of income followed by both (11.25%) as source of income and own consumption. No one of the rural women reared backyard poultry for own consumption purpose only.
56.25 per cent of the rural women rearing backyard poultry were belonged to low family income (Rs.13200-33800/-) with an overall average annual family income of Rs 34995.62. This might be because of the reason that backyard poultry is predominantly reared by socio-economically backyard rural women as this profession is not preferred by creamy layer of the society. Dumrya et al. (2015) also reported similar findings. 58.75 per cent of the respondents had low annual income (Rs. 1,650-8,166) from backyard poultry with an overall average income from backyard poultry of Rs 8,511.87, which contributed 21.10 per cent of annual family income. Chaturvedani et al. (2014) also reported that income from backyard poultry Rs. 4,118.33.
In view of the socio-economic characteristics of the backyard poultry rearing rural women it may be concluded that socio-economically weak section of society was keeping backyard poultry as an additional source of income to support their livelihood. The average annual income from backyard poultry was Rs. 8,511 and its percentage contribution to total family income was 21.10 per cent. In view of these finding considered backyard poultry is a good source of income with a promising potential to increase the income of backyard poultry rearing rural women from poultry through suitable extension intervention. The Government should provide appropriate technical and extension interventions have to be made backyard poultry more profitable. Government should also formulate suitable policies to cater the need of rural women who keep backyard poultry.
I would like to express my deepest gratitude and respect to the Chairman of my advisory committee, Dr. M.P. Sagar, Principal Scientist, Central Avian Research Institute, Izatnagar, Bareilly. I extend my grateful acknowledgements and veneration to the, Dr. Mahesh Chander, Principal Scientist and Head, Division of Extension Education, for their careful and valuable suggestions. I record my sincere gratitude to the Director, Joint Director (Acad.), Scientific Coordinator, Joint Director (Research) IVRI, Izatnagar, Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh.