Success in more ways than one

By TheHindu on 26 Nov 2016
Role model: Mr. Sunu Mathew, a farmer in Kerala, has become a successful pig breeder.


He is earning more than two lakh rupees from his piggery and quail units

Successful agricultural practices lay great stress on minimum input and maximum output by the farmers. Mr. Sunu Mathew is a farmer in Kerala who has been able to achieve maximum returns from his piggery and quail units which have become a model for other farmers to study and follow.

Gross income

In his six acre land Mr. Mathew has been growing about 220 coconut trees, banana, ginger, nutmeg, cocoa, black pepper, elephant foot yam, tapioca and areca nut as intercrops. The crops have been able to fetch him a gross income of Rs. 1, 27, 000 a year.

With a view to increasing income from his land he approached the Krishi Vigyan Kendra (KVK) of IISR.

A team of scientists visited his farm and found that the location of the farm was ideal for taking up livestock- based enterprises for additional income generation.

Training programmes

Mr. Mathew was advised to undertake pig, goat, quail, poultry and rabbit rearing on his six acre land. He was also asked to attend training programmes conducted by the KVK on the above enterprises, according to Dr. T.K. Jacob, Training Organizer of the kendra.

After undergoing the training programmes, the farmer expressed a desire to start a piggery unit as the demand and potential for piglets of improved breeds was quite high in and around the district.

He constructed a thatched shed with concrete flooring and compartments, with a capacity to house 30 sows and 250 piglets at a time. Thirty 75 day- old piglets (4 males) of Duroc and White Yorkshire breeds were procured from Government pig farms in Kerala and the unit was started in September 2004. Within 16 months each sow delivered 8-12 piglets.

The piglets were reared up to 60-75 days and then sold at Rs.1,500 each. He was also disposing of male and old pigs for pork.

Parental stock

So far he has sold about 25 adults (around 2,500 kg of pork) in 2006. He also sold 200 piglets in 2006, keeping the remaining piglets as parental stock, explained Dr. Jacob.

“There was no feeding problem as sufficient hotel and chicken wastes are available locally. The local broiler chicken units/shop owners deliver the wastes at my piggery unit daily, at their own expense,” said Mr. Mathew. He spends about Rs.1,000 per month on medicines and veterinary care for his animals and has also engaged a labourer to look after the unit, paying him Rs.6,000 as salary per month.

He started his quail unit in 2006 with about 200 birds (45 day-old chicks). The quails are reared scientifically under the cage system. The quails started egg laying at 60 days of age. At present he is able to collect about 180 eggs per day.

The eggs are sold at the rate of Re.1 per egg, earning him an income of Rs.180 per day He has earned an amount of Rs. 32,400 within six months.

Twin income

The farmer is presently realising a net income of Rs. 3,54,000 from his piggery and quail units. Success from his piggery and quail units urged the farmer to start a goatary unit with nine does and nine kids of Tellicherry breed, a rabbitary comprising 15 animals of Chinchilla breed, a poultry with 15 birds mainly for domestic consumption and fodder grass and Azolla for cattle feed.

Successful model

The farmer has become a successful model especially in pig breeding. Many farmers from Karnataka and Kerala visit his farm for piglets and to see his other units.

Readers can contact Mr. Sunu Mathew, Ettiyil House, Kallanode Post, Kozhikode, Kerala-673 615, Phone: 0496-2660594, and Dr. T.K. Jacob, Training Organizer, Krishi Vigyan Kendra, Peruvannamuzhi Post, Kozhikode, Kerala-673 528, e-mail:, phone: 0496-2662372.

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