Bakari Paalak Paathshaala

Bakari Paalak


The Shepherding school (Bakari Paalak Paathshaala) concept led by The Goat Trust, wherein an experenetial learning platform is created at each village with membership of 20 to 30 goat rearing families and it aims to change goat farming practices through identifying key local goat farming problems and facilitate and experiment with group of farmers.

A detailed manual with key identified problems and flex based tools and games had been developed by The Goat Trust and professionals are trained to facilitate this process of learning as informal learning setting system.

Here major role of facilitator is to design an experiment and 16 major learning exercises had been designed through tools like flex and games. Goat farming women were facilitated to one major problem they are facing and want a solution. In some cases facilitator observes goat farming and identifies key problems and facilitates sessions.

A presentation through tool is made to share problem statement and suggested solutions for the same. Then a discussion on how and why part of it is facilitated. Some volunteers are selected from the group to do experiment and within scope of experiment control group and experimental group is identified.

Now resource for experiment is handed over under guidance of trained livestock nurses to carry out the experiment. Depending on issue identified, a period of experiment to a maximum of 30 days (depending on seasonality if season is variable factor) is carried out. Livestock Nurses record the verifiable parameters and learning group makes a visit in next meeting to find out difference and understand experiences of farmer who have undertaken experiment.

Based on subjective and objective assessment, a future course of action is decided and supply chain for input or material supply through collective business center is established.

Lets understand it by an example. If green leaves are getting waste in a goat farming village, facilitator makes a presentation through recently taken on the spot pictures, how much leaves are wasted and present it to the group. A discussion on water used for green leaves production and labour involved in carrying such leaves to goat house is discussed in smaller groups and consolidated in plenary.

Then a solution of hanging green fodder or green fodder stand design is suggested through flex based picture tools.
Now a control group is selected who will use this stand and will record wastage of green fodder (Livestock Nurse have to take record) for 7 days. Similarly recording of wastage by non stand owner prevalent in the village.
In next school meeting scheduled at monthly interval these data, observation and experiences of farmer adopting it is shared. A plan is developed who wish to adopt this practice and how low cost stand based on presented design principle from local materials can be made.
An action plan for field support and field follow up is shared.

Although we designed learning on this process but we found we had high success where right facilitator and person with right background of technical knowledge was present and medium to low where process were compromised.
Many a times text book knowledge like feed supplementation output was challenged especially when leguminous green fodder was plenty or season just after harvesting when fallen grains in field were taken by goats.
So a general recommendation of feeding grains to goats was found just to increase cost and marginal or low proportionate return on investment.
Such general recommendation also increases working capital or cash requirement of farmers making them averse to new practice adoption suggested in a normal training program.

This process of learning has raised a scientific temperament in farmers and need to understand context and variability of resources to knowledge disseminators or technical experts. One of important changes had been found on use of local materials to make a design if tools or suggested practices, which otherwise is costly if made and supplied from outside and local self dependence is also put to restriction.

We understand that need of country is developing rural farm micro scientist to undertake such process where technology integrates with context and a social process of learning by experience and building on experiences is developed. Id we need to enhance scientific temperament of our rural farmers, we need to promote such grass root level scientists, who is apt to do experiment with farmers and facilitate a conclusion based on context and our higher level research institution may provide support to train and groom and collaborate with such group of rural farm scientists.

Trained Professionals on Bakari Paalak Paathshaala (BPP) facilitation

Year No of persons trained on BPP

Bakari Paalak Paathshaala Photo Glimpse


Bakari Paalak Paathshaala Tool