For a period of more than seven years, Mr Sunil Soni was a labourer at several poultry farms in his hometown in the Balrampur district of Chhattisgarh, India – earning a measly Rs 2,000 per month (approximately US $ 30 per month). Then one day in 2015, he came to learn about an initiative by Hester Biosciences Ltd., a vaccine manufacturing company based in India, and GALVmed, a non-profit organisation promoting backyard poultry vaccinations within his state. This programme focused on vaccinating against Newcastle Disease (ND), a contagious poultry disease that kills 100% of chicks and up to 70% of adult poultry. He contacted Mr Pradeep Tripathi (Veterinary Sales Executive) and Mr Kamlesh Kuchwaha (Area Sales Manager) of Hester Biosciences Limited, joined the training programme and enrolled as a vaccinator in the Shakargarh block of Balrampur district. He also went through a training programme on technical and entrepreneurial development. His enthusiasm, coupled with his previous knowledge in poultry, has helped his successful entry in the vaccination business of backyard poultry.
He quickly became one of the best performing vaccinators, having vaccinated 1,800 chickens in his first month of being introduced to the job. He uses the approved thermo-tolerant LaSota ND vaccine manufactured by Hester, which vaccinates poultry for up to three months at a time. Encouraged by the support from farmers and the Hester management, he further increased vaccinations and reached up to 3,200 ND vaccinations in January 2016. Mr Soni has since purchased a bicycle from his earnings to increase his coverage in nearby areas. His new bicycle is enabling ease of transport and he is thinking about extending vaccination services to more difficult terrains within the state.
As a dedicated vaccinator, he has earned respect in his community, which is a driving force for him to conduct vaccination campaigns in remote villages and support poor livestock keepers. His growing success inspires many youth in the community and backyard poultry keepers are happy to receive the services at their door steps.
“My vaccination business has given me an opportunity to earn a decent income while serving some of the poorest of farmers in my state. I can now easily earn an average of Rs 3,000-4,000 per month as a part-time vaccinator without it affecting my primary job,” said Mr Soni.
Photo caption: Vaccinator Mr Sunil Soni (left) with Mr Pradeep Tripathi (right), the Hester Veterinary Sales Executive in Ambikapur, Surguja, Chhattisgarh.