PM Modi lauds Odisha couple, who left corporate job to set up ‘goat bank’ in Kalahandi

Bhubaneswar: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in his monthly radio programme Mann Ki Baat’s 110th episode on Sunday, mentioned about Jayanti Mahapatra and Biren Sahu, a couple from Odisha’s Kalahandi district, and their unique initiative ‘Goat Bank’, promoting goat rearing at community level to improve livelihood of people in rural areas.

Lauding their effort, the Prime Minister traced their journey as management professionals in Bengaluru to Salebhata village in Kalahandi. “Goat rearing is becoming a major means of improving the livelihood of village people as well as their standard of living. Behind this effort is a major decision of Jayanti Mahapatra and her husband Biren Sahu, who took a break and came down to Salebhata village in Kalahandi, where they established Manikstu Agro and started working with the farmers. The intention was to solve the problems of the villagers there and simultaneously empower them,” he said.

He further informed about Jayanti and Biren’s “interesting” Manikstu Goat Bank, which has set up a complete system for the farmers. “Through this, farmers are given two goats for 24 months. Goats give birth to 9 to 10 kids in 2 years, out of which 6 kids are kept by the bank, the rest are given to the same family which rears goats. Not only that, necessary services are also provided for the care of goats,” PM Modi said.

The Prime Minister said that more than 1000 farmers from 50 villages are associated with this couple and are moving towards self-reliance in the field of animal husbandry. “I feel very happy to see that successful professionals in various fields are adopting novel methods to make small farmers empowered and self-reliant. Their efforts are going to inspire everyone,” he added.

Manikstu, meaning ‘blessing in the lap of Goddess Manikeshwari, was registered in 2015. The model is inspired by Dr Nimbkar of Satara district of Maharashtra, who had revolutionised goat breeding and the Manikstu farm at Salebhata currently has 500 goats. Goat farmers associated with it are also provide services like regular checkup of goats, deworming, and vaccination, besides market linkage. The couple also produce a diverse range of products like goat manure, milk, ghee, which are sold in different parts of the country.

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