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Defying Odds

How a mechanical engineer's passion hatched a thriving poultry empire
12:00 AM Mar 12, 2024 IST | TARIQUE RAHEEM
defying odds
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In a remarkable tale of determination and entrepreneurial spirit, Mohammad Iqbal, a young mechanical engineering graduate from RIMT University Chandigarh, defied all odds to carve out a successful poultry farming venture.

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Despite facing financial constraints that initially forced him to take up a salesman job at a local showroom, Iqbal's ambition knew no bounds.

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On a fateful Sunday, while browsing social media, he stumbled upon an inspiring story of a fellow youth who had established a thriving poultry farm. This serendipitous encounter ignited a spark within Iqbal, prompting him to embark on a journey that would redefine his future.

Armed with a passion for being self-reliant, Iqbal started to research high-breed poultry birds. After a few days of research, he made up his mind to set up the farm. His curiosity to establish the farm took him to Punjab where he purchased different birds for rearing at his farm.

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After one and a half years, Iqbal’s entrepreneurial spirit has woven a tale of success, turning his farm into a source of inspiration. Iqbal has embarked on an unconventional journey, reshaping not only his life but also leaving an imprint on his community. His story unfolds as a testament to resilience. His family’s support became a lifeline for him, turning his vision into reality.

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Iqbal has been in the business for the last one and a half years. “I am very content with this profession. Two years back I would earn a handful of money which could not fulfil the needs of my family but now my earnings go beyond Rs 50000 per month thus making me self-reliant."

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“I started this farm with two hundred birds and later the number rose to three thousand. Recently I bought a flock of twelve hundred birds, of them only a few hundred are unsold,” Iqbal told this correspondent while feeding birds at his farm in Batergam Kupwara.

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Iqbal’s farm has become the centre of attraction as many people from across the district visit his farm to buy birds. He deals in several kinds of birds including Kadaknath, RIR, FFG, Sonali, Black Australorp and Fancy birds. Of all, Kadaknath is the most liked bird at his farm. Even eggs of Kadaknath are in high demand due to the nutritional value they possess. “Kadaknath birds are rich in protein and iron which make them comparatively expensive. One kg of Kadaknath is being sold at Rs 600,” he said.

“These birds are comparatively healthier than Broilers and are preferred by the bodybuilders. Not only meat but the eggs of Kadaknath are the first choice for bodybuilders and gym-going persons. An egg is being sold on Amazon at Rs 58 but I sell them at Rs 15 per piece. I receive orders for eggs from Srinagar and other parts of Kashmir."

“A Kadaknath hen usually lays 180 eggs in a year which makes it a more profitable profession. I am looking forward to extending this business and for that I have brought an incubator with the capacity of one thousand eggs,” Iqbal said.

“Initially setting up a poultry farm was not taken well by my neighbours and relatives but that could not stop me from my passion. They raised their fingers at my intellect because I chose this profession and did not try for a white colour job even after possessing an engineering degree. After seeing me excelling in this profession now they take expert views from me to set up their own units. I always believed that the government cannot provide every one job. Youth have to take initiative to stand on their legs if they want to become self-reliant,” Iqbal stated.

“I have involved all family members in this profession. Although my parents were dejected after I decided to set up the farm, with growing income they are now happy,” he said.

“I am thankful to the Animal Husbandry Department for providing me with all the support and guiding me at every step to make my farm a successful one. The youth should avail of financial schemes being run by different departments to set up their ventures,” added Iqbal.

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