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How has Jayanti Mahapatra influenced the goat farming industry?

A decade ago, after returning to Biren's native village in Kalahandi, they witnessed economic disparities and migration issues firsthand.

February 25, 2024 : A decade ago, after returning to Biren’s native village in Kalahandi, they witnessed economic disparities and migration issues firsthand. Determined to make a change, they ventured into goat farming, founding Manikstu Agro to provide sustainable livelihoods to not only Salebhata but also 40 neighboring villages.

Jayanti Mahapatra and Biren Sahu, a couple who left corporate jobs for goat farming, are gaining recognition, even catching the attention of Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his ‘Mann Ki Baat’ address. Their journey exemplifies rural entrepreneurship success, as they’ve uplifted their community through innovative initiatives.

Their venture, Manikstu Agro, operates on the concept of a ‘goat bank’, promoting community farming and goat breeding. Inspired by their passion for farming and their exposure to various agri-ventures, they launched Manikstu in Kalahandi in 2015, with a vision to replicate high-tech farming practices in Odisha.

In 2015, Mrs. Jayanti Mahapatra embarked on a mission to transform the goat farming sector in Kalahandi district through the inception of Manikstu Agro. Recognizing the untapped potential of Indian goat farming, she envisioned a platform not only to uplift the lives of marginalized farmers but also to catalyze a larger agricultural revolution. Through innovative approaches and steadfast dedication, Manikstu Agro has emerged as a beacon of hope for farmers, offering comprehensive support and training to enhance their livelihoods.

Addressing the Needs: Training and Services

Manikstu Agro prioritizes knowledge dissemination and skill development among goat farmers. Through brochures and manuals available in Oriya, Hindi, and English, the organization conducts extensive training programs covering various aspects of goat management, from nutrition to breeding techniques. Over 50 workshops have been conducted, providing practical experiences to farmers, supervisors, and veterinarians. These initiatives aim to empower farmers with the necessary tools and knowledge to improve their practices and enhance productivity.

Service Offerings

One of the key initiatives of Manikstu Agro is to alleviate the sales worries of farmers by providing a platform for selling standard goats. The organization facilitates year-round access to goat sales for participating farmers, ensuring a steady income stream. Additionally, Manikstu Agro offers a range of services, including free goat hosting, vaccination, insurance, loan assistance, and affordable goat food supply. By addressing the various needs of farmers, the organization strives to create a conducive environment for sustainable goat farming practices.

The Significance of Goat Farming

Often referred to as the “cow of the poor,” goats play a vital role in rural economies, particularly in marginal and undulating lands. Their resilience, low maintenance requirements, and ability to thrive on minimal resources make them an ideal livestock option for small-scale farmers. Goat farming not only provides supplementary income but also serves as a resilient livelihood option during times of crisis such as droughts and famines.

Contributions to Rural Development

The impact of goat farming on rural development cannot be understated. With a significant contribution to milk, meat, and leather production, goats serve as a lifeline for millions of resource-poor farmers and landless laborers across India. The sector not only ensures self-employment but also contributes to agricultural sustainability through land clearance and manure production.

A Vision for the Future: Breeding, Nutrition, and Health

Looking ahead, Manikstu Agro remains committed to advancing goat farming through continuous innovation and strategic interventions. The organization’s focus areas include breeding and genetics, nutrition enhancement, disease prevention, marketing modernization, and training initiatives. By leveraging technology and expertise, Manikstu Agro aims to usher in a new era of prosperity for goat farmers, driving holistic development and empowering rural communities.

Meet the Team Behind the Vision

  • Jayanti Mahapatra (Founder and CEO): A visionary leader with extensive experience in business management, Jayanti spearheads the mission of Manikstu Agro with a blend of expertise and passion for community development.
  • Sanatan Sahu (General Manager): With over 25 years of experience in goat farming, Sanatan oversees technical operations and training, ensuring the effective implementation of farm practices.
  • Manoj Sahu (Head of Marketing & Sales): Drawing on a decade of sales experience, Manoj leads the marketing and sales efforts, expanding the reach of Manikstu Agro’s services and products.
  • Dr. Deepak Ahiwale (Veterinarian): Specializing in animal science and goat genetics, Dr. Deepak plays a crucial role in ensuring the health and well-being of livestock under Manikstu Agro’s care.
  • Shri Bijoy Mathur (Farm Technology Expert): With expertise in agricultural science and farm technology, Shri Bijoy contributes to the organization’s technological advancements and market development strategies.
  • Dr. C. Vijaya (Director, MICM): Bringing statistical and management expertise, Dr. Vijaya contributes to the strategic direction and governance of Manikstu Agro, driving sustainable growth and impact.

In conclusion, Manikstu Agro’s journey exemplifies the transformative power of grassroots initiatives in driving rural development and agricultural innovation. By empowering farmers, fostering knowledge exchange, and embracing holistic approaches, the organization continues to pave the way for a brighter and more sustainable future in goat farming.

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