Tribal Women Cut Middlemen From Livestock Trade

tribal women in western ghats

Women’s self-help group cooperatives are saving tribals in the Western Ghats from going into a loss because of middlemen meddling with the prices of their livestock. The SHGs have formed a goat selling cooperative, along with the assistance of the National Livestock Mission, for 192 tribal villages. Buying and selling today can only be done in this market.

A report by Thomson Reuters Foundation observed the trials and tribulations that the tribal people of Attapadi of Western Ghats face in order to keep their homes running. Lean black goats owned by the tribal people in this region are usually sold to a middleman who buys them at a cheap rate to only sell at a much higher price — the usual story of a middleman’s dealings.

These black goats are not only resistant to most of the diseases that afflict other goats, but in fact have the unique ability to prosper in southern India’s severe heat

A professor of Agriculture at Kerala Agriculture University said that because of these goats’ ability to withstand extreme conditions, they do not need much care and attention.

Now realising this, the tribal communities have come together to form what they call a “goat village”, where all tribals come together to sell their livestock at one place to the various buyers, without the meddling of the middlemen. During drought season, these goats are what save these tribals from starving.

The change in the price of goats is astonishing. A goat which was usually sold for Rs 1000, is now typically being sold for Rs 280 per kilo, i.e. more than Rs 5000 per goat 

And surprisingly despite the increase in the price, the demand for these tough goats has not dipped.

Also Read: Odisha Tribals Fight To Save Forest

Story Credit: Thomson Reuters Foundation