Poultry Development Services

Helping families earn an income from raising chickens


What is Poultry Development Services (PDS)?

PDS is our ‘flagship’ programme launched in 2011. It provides the tools and training (the ‘toolkit‘) for families living in poverty to start a small enterprise from home by raising chickens and selling the produce.


Who we target

In rural West Bengal the burden of poverty often falls hardest on women and their children. Women may be excluded from opportunities to earn money due to cultural prejudices, poor education and lack of job prospects and so have little say in household spending decisions. PDS is aimed at women as it allows them to work from home and earn money whilst also caring for the family.


Why chickens?

We chose poultry farming for a number of reasons:

  • very little land is needed to raise chickens.
  • there is a large market demand for the produce (meat and eggs).
  • anyone eats chickens and eggs whether Hindu, Muslim or Christian.
  • low risk and low start-up costs.
  • unsold produce can be consumed by the family.
  • the enterprise can provide a regular income over an extended period.

Enterprise not just aid

PDS aims to promote enterprise and entrepreneurship so we ask all our farmers to make a small financial contribution (currently 450 rupees = c. £5) to the cost of each toolkit (c. £15).

What’s in the Poultry Toolkit? What’s in the Poultry Toolkit?


Impact of PDS

Our impact assessments and feedback from our beneficiaries have revealed the many benefits of the programme:

  • up to 30% increase in household income from the sale of eggs and mature chickens.
  • women become empowered by the ability to earn money for themselves.
  • women invariably use their earnings for the benefit of the whole family.
  • children benefit from better access to education as there is money to pay for school uniform and books.
  • families have a healthier diet – chicken and eggs are a great source of protein.
  • more money is available to pay for basic household expenses, reducing the need to rely on unscrupulous money lenders.
  • the skills learned and profits earned can be used to start a new enterprise.

 

“When I visit poor communities and speak with women about their lives, they tell me about the daily struggle to give their children a chance at a better life than they had. And a lot of times, one of the most powerful weapons in that struggle is a small flock of chickens.”

Melinda Gates, Co-chair of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation


Meet some of our farmers

Kalyani

(PDS FARMER)

Kalyani is 30 and married with two children aged 8 and 10 years. She started her poultry enterprise with Shivia in May 2015 and since then…

Kamala

(PDS FARMER)

Kamala is 36 and has three children, one of whom has a brain tumour. Her husband is a daily-wage labourer and prior to her poultry enterprise…

Akina

(PDS FARMER)

Akina is 50 and is married with seven daughters. She and her husband Hajrat used to work as daily agricultural labourers, earning approximately Rs 100…

Nishikanta

(AMS FARMER)

Nishikanta is 45 and he registered for AMS in June 2014. He has a small plot of land, part of which he leases to another…

  • Shivia was a natural project for TFN to support: a strong social change mission, with a local focus providing a hand up, not a hand out to the women and communities it works with.
    Karen Millen
    UK Operations Manager, The Funding Network
  • We were thrilled to see the impact of the work being done and to meet the team on the ground. It was truly humbling to see the difference being made to so many people by this group of highly motivated and capable people.
    Stewart Brown
    Director Artemis Investment Management LLP
  • We are excited to support such a strategically-minded and professionally run charity that is making a real and sustainable difference. The focus and design of the livelihood programmes are simple and highly effective – and the results speak for themselves.
    Lars-eric Roden
    Director, The T&J Meyer Foundation
  • Farming is my only source of income... I registered with Shivia to learn how to reduce my farming expenses and produce better quality outputs. I am definitely seeing good results compared to previous years and have learned how to make bio-pesticides.
    AMS farmer
    Familia location West Bengal
  • I cannot thank Shivia enough for giving me this opportunity. I am extremely happy that your team held my hand and provided me with excellent training to understand about raising chickens and earning money from them. I now have the confidence to carry on with my poultry enterprise on my own.
    PDS farmer
    Kolaghat location West Bengal

some of our supporters