TEZPUR, Aug 2 - Braving all odds and challenges that often arise in a conservative society, a progressive-minded woman Dipsikha Devi of Pithakhowa area under Barchala LAC in Sonitpur district has been able to find a way of comfortable earning to feed her five-member family by practising pig and duck farming at Kawoimari-Ghatwa area on the bank of Gabharu river in Sonitpur district.
Dipsikha, a 28-year-old educated woman with sheer determination of doing something herself after witnessing her father�s poor economic condition, instead of trying for any government job, decided to start a piggery farm somewhere near her home. However, sensing that an unwanted situation might arise due to social restrictions in this venture, instead of beginning her business at her residential campus she started a piggery-cum-duckery farm on the bank of Gabharu river on a two-bigha area on a lease agreement for five years. Dipsikha started her farm in January 2019 with an investment of Rs 1.5 lakh and five piglets and a few ducklings. She is now the owner of over 100 mature Hampshire and large white Yorkshire pigs and 200 mature ducks, which are ready for sale. But, due to the lockdown and barring of inter-district movement her pigs supposed to be sold at Dimapur have remained stranded. �Moreover, the issue of African Swine Flu (ASF) also brought a sudden challenge to progressive pig farmers like us as at the outbreak of the ASF, the administration banned selling of our products. Since pork is among the most liked and consumed flesh across the world, alongwith the pig farmers the customers are also badly affected.� She added that apart from this issue, she had a good sale, having posted a good turnover within a short span of time. Opposing the Central government�s Animal Husbandry department�s decision to permit allowing transportation of pigs from Punjab and Haryana to the north-eastern region, she urged the Assam government to intervene in the matter thereby saving the local pig farmers.
However, Dipsikha also said that at a time when the government is trying to check the deep-rooted unemployment problems in our society by implementing various harmonious programmes having a tie-up with different nationalised banks or finance companies, she could not get any support from any bank. �Last year (2019), I approached the Teligaon (Thelamara) branch of SBI seeking a loan of Rs 3 lakh with all my documents including my father�s land documents for mortgage, but despite my eligibility to get the loan, the bank manager and the field officer refused to help me, and for a moment I was demoralised. Yet, I went on knocking at the doors of different financing agencies and finally Bajaj Finance helped me with an amount of Rs 3 lakh,� she said.
Asked as to why did she choose such a risky and challenging business, Dipsikha mentioned that education is meaningless if it is not practical and doesn�t help one to stand in life with dignity and values. �I researched in many fields to find out how one can earn an honest way of livelihood and finally felt that agriculture and the farming sectors are the best if one gets totally and heartily involved,� she said adding that she has dreams of extending her business with breeding and packeting of pork meeting the high market demands.