Promotion of Livestock and Pisciculture

With improved means of land management and irrigation, agriculture, which was once extremely labour intensive,is not so anymore. This has opened up avenues of alternate incomes, lessening people’s sole dependence on agriculture, and hedging against possible crop failures.


Pisciculture is a method in which breeding, rearing and transplantation of fish is done by artificial means. This slowly becomes a natural fish farm where raising and then selling fish takes place. Pisciculture was experimented with to a small extent by villagers and collectives already having watersheds on their property. These candidates were allotted fingerlings with RDT’s assistance to farm and sell; these efforts have met with encouraging success.


Livestock rearing however, has expanded greatly, and has provided women in particular with previously unknown empowerment and unexplored avenues for entrepreneurship. One of the major requirements of the program was that people signing up for the program must have enough space or land to keep animals, create a shelter, stacking of production, and be able to maintain.The livestock programs included facilitating the purchase of cattle cross-bred with Jersey cows and Murrah buffaloes which yielded double the amount of milk

approximately 10 litres/day as opposed to the 5-6 litres/day produced by indigenous breeds. Villagers were given training inputs regarding their maintenance and optimising yield. Additional inputs on profitably selling the milk were part of the module to ensure women received a thorough understanding of the entire business cycle.

“RDT has taken up Dairy development as supplementary to agriculture to boost rural economy in the district. It provided sustained income to rural poor and enabled the women's empowerment.”
Dr.K.Balasesha Reddy,
B.V.Sc, Retired Asst. Director, (AH)

Encouraging Women’s Participation

RDT encourages women to take the lead in the development of their families, and subsequently, the region. Also, in the other programs by RDT, the team observed that the women were a strong force in implementation and also showed good decision-making skills. Dairy development is one of the critical projects, which benefitted from the attention of women, since in general, they cared for the animals’ upkeep. Today in the region, each woman own 1 to 4 milking animals and are economically self-sufficient.

In time, cows and buffaloes, sheep, goat, pigs and poultry birds were added in this integrated farming system. A woman from a target group for this program typically received Rs.25000 in an interest-free loan to buy cattle. She was also given training in care of the animals and their basic health care. Retired veterinary doctors’ services were sought to provide more specialised services as needed.

More than 15,000 cows and buffaloes have been bought under this scheme and provided to villagers to manage. The year 2004 saw 1,550 households becoming involved with dairy management, yielding a total revenue increase of almost Rs.3 crores annually, which has jumped to the total of over Rs. 25 crores today. In particular, drawing women to the fold of dairy activities has been successful in elevating their social standing, self-esteem and bettering families’ income prospects.


In 2004, to bring diversity and overall growth of the region, we realized that the participation of women was very important. So RDT organized the Dairy Development Program, open to all, giving ideas on cattle breeding, milking of cows, and ways to maintain this work. It was a great success with the women also participating in the development process.”

Dr.E. Vidya Chand,
M.V.Sc., SMS (Vet.,)


Ms. Kavitha, 26, Moolagiripalli village, Uravakonda Mandal, has been growing groundnut in 0.65 ha. of land, but the crop yields were not able to sustain her family. She wanted to purchase one milch animal to get an additional income, and approached RDT for help in getting a graded Murrah buffalo, which would cost nearly Rs.40,000.

In 2014, with an investment of Rs.15,000 as her share and the remaining Rs.25,000/- interest-free from RDT, she was able to do so.

In 0.20 cents of land she grew green fodder for the buffalo to graze upon. Ms. Kavitha got 10 litres of milk per day, a gross income of Rs.79,200/- and a net income of Rs.60,000/- per year. The incremental income from milking and cow-dung has helped her overcome her financial difficulties. Now she is planning to purchase another buffalo with the support of RDT.

“The Dairy Development Programme is a boon for us by giving path towards sustainable development and economic confidence.”

Ms. Kavitha, livestock rearer,
Moolagiripalli village


Anantapur and adjacent areas were acutely short on nutrition and suffering from many deficiencies. Villagers having indulged in the livestock and pisciculture, along with agriculture, have shown encouraging improvements in the nutrition level.