Pigeon Business Expands in Kerala

INDIA - There is strong demand for pigeon products, offering farmers opportunities to diversify.
calendar icon 16 March 2009
clock icon 3 minute read

The Kochi-based Kerala Pigeon Foundation (KPF) says it is possible to generate a good income from pigeon production, given the increasing demand for pigeons in the local market, reports Gulf Times.

The KPF, which is conducting a pigeon market every second Sunday to promote the business, said it has urged the Kochi Corporation to financially help pigeon-rearers, a move that could help expand the business in the state.

"This is a simple business and can be easily managed by women. Over the years, I have seen this business grow in a modest manner. This is not enough and it is here that the government should step in and extend financial subsidy and loans to new people to enter the business," KPF secretary, P.V. Seetharam Rao, said.

Mr Rao, a hotelier, said a few years ago the number of pigeon-rearers in Ernakulam district was just a handful and now it has touched 80.

"In Kochi itself in the last one year, more than half-a-dozen pigeon selling shops have opened. On an investment of 10,000 rupees (INR), anybody can enter the business and easily make a minimum of INR 3,000 every month by selling baby pigeons," he said.

Mr Rao, who has more than 50 varieties of pigeons at home, said demand for the birds is going up.

"Currently the situation is that we just cannot meet the demand that comes from Uttar Pradesh, Delhi and other states in North India," he said.

"Today, there are around 80 businessmen in Ernakulam and a few more in other districts. In two years, the number of businessmen here will touch 500. It is here that the local bodies should step in by extending support just like they do for poultry," he said, adding, "This is easy additional money for families."

Pigeon-rearers said the birds are available at different prices. The costliest is the American Fantail - INR 50,000 a pair. English Macpee Poulter costs INR 20,000 a pair, while King costs around INR 10,000 a pair.

"I've around 20 varieties of pigeons and every month we make a minimum of INR 10,000. I am really surprised that not many people are entering this business," local resident, Usha Xavier, said.

"I would suggest that interested people start with the common Australia Red variety of pigeons with 10 pairs of birds that cost INR 10,000," she told Gulf Times.

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