Entrepreneurial opportunities for Women in Animal Husbandry Sector

Kritika Verma1 and Jujhar Singh Sidhu2

India is leading in the livestock population, with a total livestock population of 535.78 million and backyard poultry of 31.07 million (20th Livestock Census, 2019). The women’s population in India is 48.41% of the total population, whereas the women’s workforce engaged in India is 52.8% (India Skills Report, 2023). Entrepreneurship is the risk-taking ability of the individual broadly coupled with rational decision-making to increase agriculture, livestock business, industry, etc. An entrepreneur is a person who organizes and manages a business, undertaking the risk for the sake of profit. An entrepreneur must be time-conscious, innovative, curious, open-minded, confident, a hard worker, a risk-taker, an organized planner, etc.

Women Entrepreneurship

Women in India play a major role in shaping the country’s economy through their active participation in various income-generating activities. The prosperity and growth of a nation depend on the status and development of its women. Women’s entrepreneurship has been recognized as an important source of economic growth. By establishing their new venture, women entrepreneurs generate new jobs for themselves and others and also provide society with different solutions to management, organization, and business problems. Though nearly 50 percent of India’s population is female,  business spheres such as trade, commerce, and industry are still considered a male preserve. Entrepreneurial work has also been predominantly a men world in India. This is based on the fact that only 7 percent of the total entrepreneurs in India are women. Women’s participation in trade, industry, and commerce, which require entrepreneurship, is still poor, mainly because of the problems associated with their gender roles. Women entrepreneurs often face gender-based barriers to starting and growing their businesses, like discriminatory property, cultural practices, limited mobility, access to information and networks, etc. Rural women are more vulnerable as they do not get enough opportunity to make use of their economic potential. Women’s entrepreneurship can make a strong contribution to the economic well-being of the family and communities, poverty reduction, and women’s empowerment. Thus, governments across the world as well as various developmental organizations are actively assisting and promoting women entrepreneurs through various schemes, incentives, and promotional measures. It leads to enhanced awareness, increased social interaction, building self-confidence, and improving decision-making and leadership quality.

Entrepreneurial Opportunities for women in Animal Husbandry Sector

  • Dairy, goat, piggery, poultry farming
  • Commercial rearing/ fattening
  • Backyard farming
  • Feed and fodder seed production
  • Ingredient production and marketing
  • Processing of milk, meat and egg
  • Product testing and diagnosis
  • Converting waste into value added product
  • Farm equipment provider
  • Packaging

Schemes and Organizations for Indian Women Entrepreneurs

  • Dena Shakti Scheme
  • Bahartiya Mahila Bank Buisness Loan
  • Udyogini Scheme
  • Oriental Mahila Vikas Yojana Scheme
  • Annapurna Scheme
  • Cent Kalyani Scheme
  • Mahila Udyam Nidhi Scheme
  • Ministry of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) Scheme: Dairy Entrepreneurship Development Scheme : Financial support for starting dairy and allied business to generate  rural self-employment and provide infrastructure.
  • Dairy Processing and Infrastructure Development Fund (DIDF)
  • National Livestock Mission- Entrepreneurship Development &Emplyoment Generation (NLM-EDEG)
  • Khadi Village Industries Commission (KVIC) Schemes: KVIC operates a number of schemes to support startup/ new entrepreneurs
  • National Bank for Agriculture and Rural Development (NABARD)
  • Indian Institute of Entrepreneurship (IIE), Guwahati
  • National Institute of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (NI-MSME), Hyderabad
  • National Institute of Agricultural Extension Management (MANAGE), Hyderabad
  • India apart from that most of the Agricultural Institutes like SAU, National Agriculture Institutions are also facilitating a number of training programme on entrepreneurship development

Successful Stories of Indian Women Entrepreneur

Smt. Navalben Chaudhary  GujratEarlier, there were 20 cattle in her family’s dairy business. Presently, she owes 190 cattle, including 45 cows and 90 buffalos, and sells 750 liters of milk daily to Banas Dairy in Palanpur. She has given employment opportunities to many other people as well.
Smt. Chitra. M  KarnatakaShe runs a successful sheep and goat farm with the name “Samrudhi sheep and goat farm.” Owns 200 sheep (190 females and 10 males) and 10 goats. The breeds reared were Deccani, Kenguri sheep, and Osmanbadi and Sirohi goat breeds. This unit generated income, provided employment and food security, and is also involved in health care activities, decision-making, and marketing-related activities.
Smt. Rukmani Bai  Chhattisgarh  Participated in a skill-based training program on poultry rearing management in quail farming, which was organized by KVK Mahasamund, Chhattisgarh. The training program exposed the rural women to scientific poultry rearing and reduced mortality induced by proper management and vaccination. The training and quail chicks provided by KVK helped her generate a monthly income of about Rs 450000/-. Guides other farm women interested in quail farming for income generation and livelihood support.
Smt. Almoti Devi  BiharStarting with a single cross-bred cow, she now has a well-managed dairy farm of 12 cows with an average daily milk yield of 90 liters. Daily, 10 kg of peda is prepared from the unsold milk and marketed in the local market. The annual net earnings are Rs. 6 lakhs from the last 8 years. 30 motivated poor women started rearing cows under her guidance and support.

Challenges faced by Indian Women Entrepreneur

Lack of confidence: Women lack confidence in their strength and competence. Family members and society are reluctant to stand by their entrepreneurial growth. But this situation is changing nowadays, and yet we need a tremendous change to increase the rate of growth in entrepreneurship.

Socio-cultural barriers: family and personal obligations are sometimes a great barrier to succeeding in a business career.

Market-oriented risks: Lack of mobility makes women entrepreneurs dependent on male members. Many businesswomen find it difficult to capture the market and make their products popular. They are not fully aware of the changing market conditions and hence cannot effectively utilize the services of media and the internet.

Awareness about financial assistance: Various institutions extend their support in the form of incentives, loans, schemes, etc. Even then, every woman entrepreneur may not be aware of all the assistance provided by the institutions. So, the sincere efforts taken towards women entrepreneurs may not reach the entrepreneurs in rural and backward areas.

Strategies to Promote Women Entrepreneurship

Creating Awareness: The government, semi-government, and non-government organizations should create awareness among the most productive age group of rural women. The printed media can be effectively put to use for this purpose.

Motivating Entrepreneurs:For proper motivation of rural women, the economic, social, and health benefits of various possible enterprises should be highlighted. Farm visits, video film shows, dramas, puppet shows, group meetings, etc. help in motivating the potential group.

Expertise Development: Skills in production, processing, packaging, and marketing techniques are the basic requirements needed by a successful entrepreneur. Knowledge regarding accessibility to loans, various funding agencies, procedures regarding certification, etc. should be provided. Lectures, printed material, discussions, and skillful training programs for imparting first-hand technical knowledge in production, processing, procurement, and management should be provided to women.

Continous Follow-up: Constant follow-up should be ensured for the sustainability of any enterprise. During this phase, various constraints, such as personal, social, economic, marketing, etc., faced by entrepreneurs should be addressed. Possible help in the form of knowledge, technical skills, and inputs should be provided to enable them to solve their problems.

1Department of Veterinary and Animal Husbandry Extension Education
2Department of Animal Nutrition
Guru Angad Dev Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, Ludhiana, Punjab-141001