Project information

Livelihood Poultry project in West Bengal

The project concentrates on providing poultry tool kits, appropriate loans and teaching skills to poor farmers, which will enable them to supplement their income through rearing chickens at home; they may sell the chickens locally or keep them for eggs. In one year we will work with 2,500 farmers.

July 2011 - July 2012

Charity information: Shivia

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  • Need


    The project is trying to enable poor farmers to get themselves out of poverty. It addresses the downfalls of traditional microfinance - that lending for the sake of lending (with no skills-based training) gets people into debt and it is hard to control how people spend the money. Even if on enterprises, they are often production rather than market-driven and the loans provided are often not suited to the enterprises started. We are witnessing sub-prime in India's microfinance industry.


    The project will provide skills-based training in a market-driven enterprise, poultry farming. Where the clients cannot sell their chickens, they can still feed their families with them which is an improvement to their socio-economic status. Any loans provided to buy the tool-kits will be product specific enabling clients to pay back the loans when they realise the cash. They will not be able to spend parts of the loan on consumption purposes which is what is happening in the industry today.

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To increase household income and socio-economic status.


    » There is much demand for chickens in West Bengal. We will help clients sell their products to local markets to increase their household income.
    » Wtih additional household income, we can encourage them to engage in further productive enterprise, either through Shivia or elsewhere.
    » With additional household income, we will encourage clients to send their children to school and gain access to proper healthcare.

    What success will look like

    Success will be if our clients are able to move away from the poverty line of 2 USD per day, have three meals per day, send their children to school and access proper healthcare.

  • Impact


    Wider community development with increased household incomes, a boost in community morale and the knock-on effects of more income. We will demonstrate success through our standard Social Impact Assessments which we complete for each client on an annual basis, measuring key socio-economic indicators over time. Key indicators include: empowerment, household income, education for clients and children, access to sanitation and access to medical services.


    The greatest risk is that the chickens could die through flooding, disease, or poor care. We have taken out insurance to protect Shivia and farmers against flooding and disease and as part of the tool kit we also provide a series of vaccinations and eye drops to minimise the risk of disease. We provide ongoing training so that farmers know how to best care for their stock and since they pay for the initial tool kits, they have ownership and look after them. We also help with market linkages.


    We provide quarterly reports to donors, currently tailor made to their requirements, and emphasising socio-economic impact made. As the project expands, we will provide standardised reports. We also hold calls with donors, send photos and encourage them to visit the projects if they wish.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £22,500

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      Amount Heading Description
      £3,700 Site logistics Office rent and admin at the project site
      £14,800 Enrollment and training Getting farmers onto the project and training
      £4,000 Shivia India staff To monitor and evaluate the project
  • Background


    The project office is based at Familia Home, a small commune that consists of four foster families, each in their own house, situated in the village of Bhaluka 55 km north of Kolkata in the North 24-Parganas District of West Bengal, North East India. The farmers live in villages near Bhaluka. The nearest town is Kanchrapara and is serviced by a main road and railway line to Kolkata city.


    Farmers and their families who live at or near the poverty line will benefit. We are not gender specific and will provide tool kits to one member from each family that comes forward to enrol on the programme. In the first year, approximately 2,500 farmers will benefit, with an initial pilot phase of 30 households for five months up to December 2012 and a scaling phase thereafter up to July 2012 if the pilot is successful. The wider communities will also benefit through knock-on effects.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    Shivia is best placed to carry out this project since we are deeply committed to poverty alleviation through empowerment of communities. The villages we have chosen are well known to Olly Donnelly, CEO, through her work with Familia Home and Familia has good relations with neighbouring villages. The Shivia India team has great grass roots experience in microfinance and has seen first hand where it has failed. We have changed our model accordingly and carried out extensive research to do so.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Olly Donnelly

    Chief Executive. Olly has been working in India on issues of poverty alleviation and microfinance for the past 12 years.

    Vasant Subramanyan

    Chairman, Shivia India. Vasant is a serial entrepreneur and a mover and shaker in Kolkata. He is putting much energy behind this innovative model.

    BASIX - Indian Grameen Services

    Partner. IGS has been involved in microfinance and livelihood development services for many years. They are seconding staff to us for one year.

    Chandrani Banerjee

    Project leader, Shivia India. Chandrani is deeply committed to this project and works all hours to ensure it is going to work!


Poultry tool kits including training