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  • Cuddalore farmer bags national award for successful country chicken farming


    Cuddalore :

    A small-time poultry farmer in Cuddalore district was among the first to predict that those investing in finance companies to rear emu birds would be in deep trouble. Having visited an emu farm in a village near Guntur, Andhra Pradesh way back in 1990, Cuddalore-based farmer R Kathamuthu, 45 was convinced that the there was no profit in rearing emus.

    He advised several farmers not to invest in emu. A few took him seriously and did not burn their fingers, but the rest suffered huge losses. But, Kathamuthu, who hails from Old Vandipalayam, was selected for an award for the year 2013 for promoting country chicken or ‘naatu kozhi’ in local parlance.

    The Chandigarh-based central poultry development organization (CPDO) gave him the national award, recognizing his contribution in the field of ‘desi’ chicken. The CPDO functions under the department of animal husbandry, dairy and fisheries, ministry of agriculture.

    Joint secretary (animal husbandry, dairying and fisheries) Sanjay Bose Reddy presented the award to him in the presence of CPDO director K Ravikumar and its Chennai research centre director, P Kanagaraj, at a function on December 12 in Chandigarh. Son of an agricultural coolie S Ramalingam, Kathamuthu was into aqua culture, farming fish and crustaceans, before taking up poultry farming full time. “Aquaculture is a profitable business but very labour-intensive. It is a huge task to maintain the facility,” Kathamuthu said. An article about CPDO’s research centre in Hessaraghatta, Bangalore, in an agriculture magazine, which he came upon accidentally, changed the course of his life. He visited the centre and underwent a week-long training in poultry farming. It was the beginning of a new life for him.

    He set up a country chicken farm with an investment of Rs 50,000 in his village in 2000. With tips from the research centre, he developed his farm in a phased manner. His business peaked in the last couple of years, during which he sold more than 2,500 birds every month. The demand for country chicken eggs also soared and he began to sell more than 500 eggs per day at Rs 5 per egg. His clients included hotels from Bangalore, Chennai, Madurai, Trichy and Salem, besides locals. He used to earn more than Rs 1 lakh per month when his business was at a peak.

    “The broiler chicken market is volatile. The price of chicken and eggs fluctuate. But there is always great demand for country chicken and eggs,” he said. His wife, K Inbavalli, and his brother-in-law, A Ramadoss, assist him in maintaining the farm. He trains college students and encourages them to set up poultry farms.

    source: / The Times of India / Home> City>Chennai> Cuddalore / by Bosco Dominique, TNN / December 17th, 2013


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