Cracking Global Malnutrition through Hatching Hope
December 18, 2019
What makes a chicken a changemaker? Raising chickens is one of the most practical – and sustainable – paths out of poverty.
Cracking global malnutrition takes bold thinking and effective new approaches, like Hatching Hope. The Hatching Hope Global Initiative improves livelihoods of people worldwide – lifting up women, families, communities and economies. And it’s all made possible through the power of poultry farming.
Hatching Hope combines Cargill’s business and nutritional expertise and Heifer International’s values-based community development model to improve the nutrition and economic livelihoods of millions through the production, consumption and promotion of chicken and eggs.
By teaching subsistence farmers about efficient and sustainable poultry production practices, Hatching Hope equips them to feed their own families – and to bring their products to market, closing the gap to living incomes.
Empowering Poultry Farmers for Lasting Change
India is the second-most populated country in the world, with a quarter of its population living in poverty. Many poor people are dependent on agriculture for food and income. Odisha is one of the country’s poorest states.
Balhi Rani Tudu lives in a village in Odisha with her husband and three children. Throughout her life, she has experienced financial scarcity, social ostracization, medical hardships and personal struggle.
When her family began facing financial struggles, she started a small poultry project to support her family – starting with only four birds gifted to her by her father.
In November 2018, she became a member of Maa Tulasi Self Help Group through Hatching Hope to learn more about best practices for rearing poultry to improve income and productivity –starting her journey towards self-reliance and empowerment.
Shortly after joining, Balhi Rani was able to grow her flock to the point where it was too big for her small hut, making the chicken vulnerable to thieves and predators. A special project through Hatching Hope funded the cost of building a new coop, and Balhi Rani was selected as the farmer to receive the funding.
Now that her poultry shed is complete, she says her birds are safe with ready access to sufficient food and water. The project also provides vaccinations for her birds to promote animal health and well-being. This care helped increase her flock size to 60 chickens with 11 breeding hens. She currently sells around 10 chickens per year. With her increasing flock size and reduced mortality, she plans to increase that number to 60-70 chickens this year.
Balhi Rani is currently going through business plan development training through the project, and only expects her flock to grow, increasing her self-confidence and social standing in her community.
Balhi Rani continues to set goals – for her farm and her family – as her business grows.
“As we do not have any other permanent source of income or assets, this can help us in building our future,” Balhi Rani said. “With an increased income I want to build a house. I want all my children to go to college and get jobs.”
Balhi Rani is one of many women impacted by the program in one of its key geographies. Cargill and Heifer International have launched the program in priority countries where both organizations have local presence and where poverty and malnutrition are high – including India, Kenya and Mexico. Hatching Hope will expand to new geographies throughout the program's lifetime.