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Ducks and geese

Duck herding is quite widespread in Tamil Nadu, South India. Duck producers are so lacking in capital that they purchase ducklings from traders in return for a contract to sell the eggs produced back to the traders. Ducks feed mainly on freshly harvested rice paddies, which benefits farmers, as they loosen the soil, eat weeds and insects and drop manure. Nowadays, the ducks are moved between farms on trucks, although formerly they were herded. Traders pass to buy the crop of eggs once a week and the ducks can be sold for meat after two or three years. With careful management, these sharecroppers can become independent producers after several years.

Source: adapted from Nambi, 1999.