A Look Into the Lives of Goat Rearers Who Benefited From Micro-Loans

November 4, 2016
By Rang De Team
Goat rearers form some of the poorest communities across India

We have successfully disbursed 3460+ loans to goat rearers in Jharkhand, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Orissa, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, West Bengal, Andhra Pradesh and Rajasthan

Over the past eight years, our focus has been to alleviate poverty through affordable microcredit and goat rearers comprise the poorest individuals among all the various professions that have sought Rang De loans. We have witnessed some heart-wrenching stories among these individuals who work hard just for a proper meal.

Why do they choose to rear goats?

Many women residing in rural areas have limited sources of income. Most of them are not allowed to go outside and work.

They are often married to farmers, daily wage earners or workers. Their families often face many difficulties to due to their husband’s meagre income.

Goat kids are purchased and grown for their meat and sold a year or two later. The meat business is booming in India and it is one of the simplest professions that women with low literacy levels in rural India can undertake

With their spouses earning a meagre income, they are often left with no other choice but to find another source of income.

Goats are far more cheaper (costing over 50% or less) than cows or buffaloes and are the only animals within the reach of these families. They do offer far less returns and need to be replaced a lot more frequently as they are sold for their meat within a year or two of purchase.

With the lowest incomes in their localities, nearly nonexistent assets and few other jobs available, formal institutions rarely offer them credit so that they can buy new goats.

The life of a goat rearer

A goat rearer purchases goat kids at a young age. Many rearers have plants or greenery — leaves, branches and fresh grass — around their house which these goats can graze on.

Once the goats are ready to be sold for meat, they are sold at a reasonable price.

The biggest problem with goat rearing is that the income isn’t generated every week or every month but only once the goat is sold.

Nazima availed three loans from Rang De which has helped her to earn an income of Rs.5–6k per month.

The downside to this is that these women have no choice but to keep feeding the animal until it is ready to be sold for meat. The goat’s health is vital since the profit depends on the size and health of the goat.

Goats demand a lot of the rearer’s time. Most of the women keep them in their home and males in the home usually take the goats out in the evening times so the animals can graze and get some exercise.

From Tamil Nadu to Maharashtra, a very common profession

Santhi A, a 28-year-old widow, who lives with her four-year-old daughter, spent almost all of her savings in paying for her husband’s medical bills.

Burdened with the responsibilities of looking after her family, she took it up on herself to work hard. She works in cashew-shelling and, at other times, she can be seen working as a labourer. With the need to increase her income, much like hundreds of women every month, she started her association with a Rang De loan to start a goat rearing business in 2015.

Santhi now earns around Rs 6,000 per month, an estimate we reach based on the likely revenue accrued through the sale of a goat in the year.

It may not be much but she now stands a chance at setting aside savings for her daughter’s education. There can be hope of better things in store for Santhi and her daughter.

Elsewhere in Maharashtra, Alimunisa Sk Yakub works alongside two of her family members in centering work. A house is more than just a physical building that provides shelter for her family.

With a loan from SAGRAS, she built her own house and now owns more than ten goats. It can be hard to imagine that this humble trade can transform a life but we have seen ample evidence that it can.

Your contributions have helped us provide loans to 3,400+ goat rearers, many of whom are now able to earn a decent income and support their family. Help us support more rural entrepreneurs from across India.

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