Shree Vivekanand Research and Training Institute – Mandvi Kachchh(VRTI), established in 1975, was registered in 1980 under the Bombay Public Charitable Trust Act, 1950. Under the valuable guidance of Mr. Kantisen Shroff (KAKA), it is working in a number of villages of Kachchh (Gujarat). The vision is a sustainable rural development based on natural resource management with community participation in areas like rainwater harvesting, watershed development, livelihood enhancement, fodder security, skill development and community capacity building.
COMMUNITY FODDER BANK (sun-dried, such as sorghum) is one of the steps towards making the village self-reliant in fodder supply, in time of drought season. This system is based on the traditional knowledge and practices of the community and is easily adaptable and replicable. In normal monsoon years, villagers can store the surplus fodder in the fodder bank (sun-dried, such as sorghum). This fodder stored in fodder bank can be accessed by the villagers during drought year as per mutually agreed operating terms, which will ensure the sustainability of the fodder bank. This will enable the villagers to feed their animals with quality fodder available at reasonable prices in the village itself and thus cope with drought period affordably.
To effectively arrange the availability of fodder for cattle, of the right quality in a time of need and at affordable cost.
To establish advantages of collective processes in terms of quality fodder procurement, cost-effectiveness due to procurement time and economy of scale.
To ensure fodder security for Livestock Rearers in a difficult period of drought.
The viability of the fodder bank (sun-dried, such as sorghum) is based on the fact that in a good monsoon year the price of fodder is three fourth to half the price of fodder in a drought year. The fodder procured and stored in a good year can serve the need of fodder in drought time, when the market price is high, and more than compensate the expenditure incurred on transport, storage and weight loss of fodder procured at low cost in a lean year. This cost still would be 20 to 30% cheaper than fodder prices in the market and also the quality of this fodder would be superior.
Criteria for establishment of fodder bank:
The criteria would be for the establishment of Fodder Bank are as follows:
The number of cattle in villages should be high and cattle rearing is the main economical occupation.
Villages at a remote location, devoid of easy access are given priority
The community should be ready to provide their share of contribution to developing a fodder bank.
How it would work:
The operationalization of the fodder bank would follow the following steps:
Formation of livestock groups: The village members engaged in animal husbandry livelihood would be organized as a group. There will be a token membership fee to become a member of this group. The animals will also be made members. From each member Rs. 100 will be collected as membership fee and an additional animal fee would be collected at Rs. 50 per animal. These groups will be responsible for all activities related to the management of fodder bank like planning, demand analysis, procurement, selling, collection and maintaining the records.
Formation of the management committee: The management committee will be formed out of group members and this committee will operate the bank account related process. It will also monitor the process of distribution of fodder to livestock group’s members. The committee would take the decision for fair distribution of fodder and provide fodder to most needy members of the livestock group on priority.
Demand analysis: Every group will analyze the demand of fodder in respective villages for its members and accordingly place indent for procurement.
Fund assessment and management of Revolving Fund: Before the establishment of fodder bank, the management committee of livestock developers will assess the need for fodder and fund required for setting up the fodder bank, with the guidance of VRTI. The required amount to purchase fodder will be provided as a revolving fund (zero-interest loan) to the management committee. The management committee will be responsible for the collection of the sales consideration amount from group members, which would increase ownership for such interventions. The fixation of the fodder price for group members would be on the basis of the market scenario but would remain less than the market prices. The surplus cash generated would be used to repay revolving fund installment. In general, the revolving fund will be repaid in time span of 5 to 7 years depending upon the no. of cycles of fodder purchase and sell to be completed (dependent on weather)
Location: The fodder bank will be housed at the respective village and will run through the management committee.
Management of Records: Every group will manage proper records like members’ book, cash book, purchase records, and daily sales. The committee will manage and write all records on a daily basis.
Prerequisite Steps Followed:
Livestock group Formation and collection of the membership fee
Formation of the management committee
Opening of the bank account of a group
Requisition for fodder bank by a group
Request letter of Group to VRTI
Verification and ratification by VRTI
Processing for fund release and fodder bank development
Setting -up and operationalization:
The main activity to operationalize this concept is the procurement of fodder bank, which is proposed through the following mechanism-
Procurement committee: This committee will consist of VRTI representatives and representatives from the livestock community (This could be formed on a rotation basis for greater transparency).
Deciding the fodder bank Portfolio: This task will be undertaken by livestock rears committee based upon the demand and finalized in consultation with VRTI in the first time when the revolving funds will be provided to groups.
Procurement of Material: Considering the above portfolio, a market assessment would be carried out for fodder price and comparative analysis will be done by the procurement committee. And based upon the recommendation of the procurement committee, procurement orders shall be released.
As per the number of animals in villages and fodder requirements, the maximum of Rs. 5,00,000 should be provided as a revolving fund to the livestock group. The community contribution would be around 20% of the total cost of the fodder bank.
Expected Benefits/ Results:
Direct Support: This fodder bank will provide direct support to households engaged in livestock rearing on full time and regular basis.
Indirect Support: fodder bank will also help in developing quality concepts among other beneficiaries through the dissemination of information on quality and timely supply.
Other Benefits: Increased awareness and willingness among livestock Rearers community on backward linkages and collective processes. Sensitization of livestock Rearers community on the importance of maintaining fodder bank in the drought period, for sustainable animal husbandry.