BANEPA, June 13: It is now possible to hatch eggs using incubators even in places that do not have grid electricity supply.
Women Entrepreneurs Consumers Cooperative has introduced Solar Poultry Incubator for the first time in the district. Using this incubator, farmers can hatch eggs even in areas that do not have electricity suppl.
“We had kept fertile eggs that we collected from local farmers in the solar incubator. Although we were unsure whether or not the eggs will hatch, to our astonishment chicks started hatching from the 21st day of incubation,” Nirmala Shrestha, secretary of the cooperative, shared. “It is now possible to hatch eggs of different types of birds like chicken, ducks and even turkeys.”
Shrestha further added that the cooperative was using the solar incubators to hatch chicks of local breed. “The incubator we used can hatch up to 100 chicks at a time. However, we are planning to purchase incubators capable of hatching 500 chicks at a time,” she added.
As modern hatcheries hatch only popular breeds like broilers, layers and Giriraja, farmers are having hard times getting chicks of local breeds. “Only only government-run farms have been produce chicks of local breeds. Using this solar incubator, we can produce chicks of local breeds and sell them to farmers,” she added.
The demand for eggs and meat of chicken of local breeds is on the rise in recent years because of their superior taste.
According to Shrestha, the cooperatives will initially provide incubator and necessary training to operate only to its members. “We plan to distribute such incubators to 250 women entrepreneurs associated with cooperative from districts such as Kavre, Sindhupalchowk, Kailali, Makwanpur and Chitwan,” she added.
Solar incubators were imported to Nepal from Kochin of India by Chitwan-based Siddhababa Organic Agriculture Industry. “We imported the incubator with the hope that people in local areas, which do not have electricity supply, can produce chicks of local breeds,” Basudev Sapkota, chairman of the company, said. “Unlike hatcheries, small farmers and women entrepreneurs can neither afford to bring parent stock chicken nor purchase chicks in small numbers. Also, the chances of farmers not getting chicks of desired breeds are also high.”
Sapkota said his company collaborated with the cooperative to promote poultry farming in rural areas of Nepal.
“The first trial of the solar incubator in Banepa was successful. Over 70 percent of the eggs in the incubator hatched,” he said. “As the incubator has been brought into use for the first time, operators may not have been well-acquainted with the use of the incubator,” he said, explaining reasons behind low hatching rate.