The local chicken revolution in Bogura

People are more interested in foreign products in the case of mobile phones or cosmetics. However, in the case of chicken, if the country is not gone. Realizing that, it seems that the entrepreneurs of Sherpur in Bogura are leaning towards domestic chicken farming. Every night there are innumerable small trucks carrying domestic chickens from Sherpur in Bogura to Dhaka. What is happening in Sherpur is seen by the locals as a 'local chicken revolution'. And behind this revolution is the veterinary surgeon of Bogura Sherpur Upazila Livestock Department. Raihan.

Raihan has shown that only a person can make a huge difference if he has the will and initiative. In the last five years, Raihan's initiative 'Stairs to Touch Dreams' has spread across the country. In Sherpur, Bogura, thousands of young people have made a living by participating in the program and returning the native chickens to the Bengalis. About 10,000 people have been employed in the farms of these dreamy entrepreneurs. These farms do not use any antibiotics or steroids (hormones). These farms are producing 4,000 kg of domestic chicken meat and 130,000 eggs every month by organic method. There are now 9 hatcheries in Sherpur Upazila for the production of domestic chicks. These hatcheries are producing an average of 75,000 domestic chicks per month.

Conservation and expansion of domestic chicken breeds and low investment to create entrepreneurs and contribute to the role of the public. Raihan has already received the Public Administration Medal at the national level (individual category). At the district and Rajshahi divisional level, he has been recognized as the best innovative officer in civil service. Md. Overwhelmed by Raihan's initiative, the government's Cabinet Division (Coordination and Reforms) has already written to the Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock recommending pilot projects in 20 upazilas to spread the 'Dream Touch Stairs' across the country.

Md. Raihan had earlier worked as a veterinary surgeon in Monpura upazila of Bhola. Poultry is the main source of animal meat in the island district. After being transferred to Sherpur in Bogura, he saw that there were many golden and broiler chickens commercial farms here. Foreign chickens are scattered everywhere in the market. But the native chicken could not be found. That's when the thought of a local chicken farm came to his mind.

Md. Raihan said that after coming to Sherpur in 2015, he found out that locals Amjad Hossain, Abdul Quader and Enamul Haque raised 50-60 domestic chickens in their house in the traditional way. He called three people and told them to start a commercial chicken farm in a modern way and gave training. They succeeded in a few days. Word of their success spread throughout the upazila. Many started contacting the livestock office. After that 15 interested youths were given training and assistance. The initiative to set up a commercial poultry farm with them is called the dream ladder. In a short time they also succeeded. To spread this initiative across the country, two 'Entrepreneur Pathshalas' have been set up in Town Colony of Sherpur town and Chokpathalia village of Garidaha Union to create entrepreneurs. On Fridays and Saturdays of the week, 30 entrepreneurs from all over the country are taught various techniques for raising chickens on commercial farms, producing more meat and eggs in a faster time without using antibiotics and steroids.

Both the demand and price of domestic chicken are high. Even a few years ago there was no commercial farm for domestic chickens. Now in Bogura district alone there are about 1,200 local poultry farms.

Rafiqul Islam Talukder, Bogura District Livestock Officer

With coaching from here, Zakaria Islam (22) of Dharmokam village in Sherpur has currently got the title of prosperous farmer. He is now in his third year of graduation from Government Azizul Haque College. He tried to stop studying due to lack of money while studying in high school. Dad has nothing like that. So he started raising domestic chickens with 40 children by raising a loan of Tk 6,000 to cover the cost of education. Five years later, the number of native breeding chickens on Zakaria's farm is now over five hundred. It has its own hatchery for hatching 36,000 domestic chickens. The house has six fattening cows. Studies are also going on, now the average monthly income of Zakaria is about half a lakh rupees.

Entrepreneurs of the Dream Touch Stairs have facilitated business due to communication and transactions among themselves. Ordinary farmers supply eggs to hatchery owners. New entrepreneurs buy extra babies from hatcheries. Interested entrepreneurs from all over the country also took their children from the dream-touching stairs after completing their training in the Entrepreneurial School. The price of a child is 20 rupees. However, if the price of eggs fluctuates, the price of the baby also goes down. As soon as the farmers were called, 12 'dream friends' trained in cattle ran away.

Bogura District Livestock Officer Rafiqul Islam Talukder told Prothom Alo that both the demand and price of domestic chickens are high. Even a few years ago there was no commercial farm for domestic chickens. Now in Bogura district alone there are about 1,200 local poultry farms. 

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