They hear on, amused and with rapt attention, as the accountant explains – “Yes, you both sold same number of birds last week whose payment you have received in your cooperative accounts and can withdraw using your bank card any time, but our system indicates that your efficiency ratios are different; that is why the difference in payments”.
The tutorial continued. This exercise is a routine for the Kesla Poultry Cooperative Unit’s staff now and they do it with zeal. The efficiency ratio is in essence computed for each cooperative member based on their birds’ mortality rate + weight + hygiene + FCR from the records maintained weekly in their diaries after an inspection by the village supervisor. Not only is this ratio used to determine the additional attention and care to be given to each batch; it also determines the payments. The cooperative thus cushions the members from market shocks, using a more fairer parameter to determine prices. The efficiency ratio is one amongst many innovations which characterizes this setup.
Tribal and economically struggling families in Self Help Groups of Saheli village of Kesla block, Hosangabad district in Madhya Pradesh have realized and experienced over the years how their traditional backyard poultry which fetched nothing more than Rs. 5,000 a year, now have become proud owners of approximately 500 birds’ micro poultry units in their backyards which fetch them nearly Rs. 30,000 annually making it their primary source of livelihood over farming and forest based activities. Saheli is not alone to have seen the metamorphosis. Many such villages in Madhya Pradesh and now Jharkhand have become part of this movement led by PRADAN (Professional Assistance for Development Action), an NGO established in 1983.
This is without a doubt one of the most talked about and celebrated model in the development sector now. However a visit to the setup elevates one’s regard for it many folds, cause it demonstrates how when dealt with professionalism and dedication (PRADAN’s trademark abilities) working in livelihoods with tribal communities which is looked upon as an unstructured arena can also be highly efficient and effective.