MOINAPORA (GHILAMORA), April 19 - Akhil Dutta is a busy man during Rongali Bihu � not for fun and merrymaking, but in attending to his herd of more than 100 goats that he has reared in the last four years in Moinapara in Kalitagaon village of Ghilamora, some 60 km southeast of North Lakhimpur.
Akhil keeps his herd of goats of indigenous breeds known as Assam Plain Goats, Assam Hill Goats and Black Bengal Goats of dwarf variety in a plot of land in a picturesque area on the banks of the Kesukhona river.
Son of Sonbor Dutta, a poor peasant, the 35-year-old Akhil began raising goats of indigenous breeds two years ago with just three animals. This number has now multiplied 40 times, and caters to the demand of livestock in a region where 90 per cent of the population are non-vegetarians.
A graduate in humanities from North Bank College in Ghilamora, Akhil, instead of looking for a salaried job concentrated on using the resources of the 11 bighas of agriculture land his family had in the village, and began raising goats of indigenous breeds.
These goats require less space and low investment, are less prone to diseases and give birth to 2-3 babies twice a year. This led to a rapid increase in the number of animals in his farm in just three years, thereby encouraging Akhil to raise more.
The goats in his farm have an average weight of 20 kg, which produces more than 10 kg of consumable meat. The market price of mutton in Lakhimpur district is Rs 450 per kg, and Akhil�s goats have been attracting quite a lot of buyers.
Now, with his nearly 120 animals, Akhil expects to get at least Rs 4 lakh by the end of the monsoon season.
A hard-working entrepreneur, Akhil is running his farm without any financial aid from the State agencies and banks, thereby setting an example of how low-cost investment in indigenous species can produce rich dividends besides contributing to the local bio-diversity.
He is also working on developing a composite farm of maize for his goats besides growing Napier and Hybrid Napier grass. He is also saving a lot by feeding the goats with natural fodder instead of using processed food.
As his farmland is located in a low-lying river bank area, the growth of reed locally known as �dol� ensures fodder for his goats.
Akhil has also planted ash gourd in four bighas of land and bottle gourd in two bighas, besides rearing Muga silkworms. The dung of the goats, which is an excellent manure for black pepper and betel leaf plants, is also used to make vermicompost.
With his indigenous goats, Akhil�s farm is a perfect example of economic success along with sustainable development supporting the local ecosystem.