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Enabling Goat Farmers in Rural India - Rang De x The Goat Trust

I recently had the opportunity to visit The Goat Trust (TGT) and gain firsthand experience of their working model. The Goat Trust is a charitable trust formed in 2008, based out of Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh that works to promote small livestock-based enterprises, by building support institutions and providing market linkages through its sister concern, Nani Nandan. It is led by Sanjeev Kumar, an ASHOKA Fellow.


During my three-day visit, I met existing and potential Investees and participated in financial literacy and roadmap discussions with TGT's Chief Operating Officer, Vinay Gautam, and Partner Manager, Shivkamal Tiwari.


On the first day of my visit, I had a brief interaction with Mr Tiwari who explained TGT's working model to me.


TGT forms Joint Liability Groups (JLGs) with a minimum of 100 goats in a village, consisting of 5 to 15 team members. Each JLG has a Pashusakhi, literally meaning a friend of the animals, appointed from the village, to take care of the goats and conduct training. The goats are then sold in the market when they mature.

Rang De team member stands alongside a group of investees in a picturesque rural setting, embodying the spirit of empowerment.

I then met with a group of existing Investees in Mittai village who had an experience of at least five years of goat farming. They had taken a loan of Rs.30,000 each and had completely repaid it. Investees decided on the loan amount according to the capacity of the goat herd. It was so heartening to note that Investees were satisfied with the loan product and it was sufficient for their needs. They were able to earn a profit (Rs.2,000-8,000) irrespective of the mortality of goats. They were getting 5 goats under 30K from TGT's sister company, Nandi Nandan Breeds and Seeds Pvt Ltd at their doorstep. Once the goats are matured, Investees directly sell them back to Nandi Nandan as they get better prices there than from the market, and travel costs are saved. Investees wished to retake loans in the future from Rang De. They wanted to set up a shop to sell soaps made out of goat milk, goat supplements and feed etc.

A locally-produced packed soap infused with goat milk and a goat supplement powder.

In Kheoli village, I met a group of 6 existing Investees. Here, the Investees had made good profits (between Rs. 5,000-12,000) in comparison to the other villages. One borrower, Gareeba Muneer, earned a profit of Rs.11,000 and reinvested this amount in the goat farming business. She is now an inspiration and role model for the community.

Rang De team members in discussion with rural female entrepreneurs.

On the second day of my visit, my colleague Atul and I went to Noorpur village, where we met with a group of 15 potential Investees interested in taking loans for goat rearing. We learned that other Microfinance Institutions (MFIs) were also available from which they could take loans. Their interest rate varied from 21% and above in APR but community members had shown their interest in taking loans from Rang De as the interest rate was lower. Following our visit to Pashu Bazaar, we had a financial literacy session and roadmap discussion with Sanjeev Ji. During this session, we discussed Rang De's working model and the changes made to the loan application process.

Rang De team member mentoring local entrepreneurs.

Sanjeev Ji also shared Rang De's roadmap with us, which included plans for program implementation in six new states, vocational training programs for school pass-outs, and startup plans for goat product shops by Pashu Sakhis. We were excited to hear about these plans, which will help more people access the financial resources and training they need to succeed in goat farming and other income-generating activities.


Overall, my three days at The Goat Trust were a rich and rewarding experience. I was impressed by the dedication and expertise of the staff, as well as the enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit of the Investees.


The trust's working model is a powerful example of how affordable credit can be used to support sustainable development in rural communities, and I look forward to seeing the impact of their work continue to grow.


If you're interested in learning more about The Goat Trust and their work, please visit https://www.thegoattrust.org/


And if you're interested in supporting initiatives like this one, consider becoming a Social Investor through Rang De at https://rangde.in/ Together, we can help empower more individuals and communities to build better futures for themselves and those around them.



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