Bihar Socio-Economic Development Project,

Planting the seeds to grow a living income

In one of India’s poorest states, Heifer empowers women farmers to provide food for their families, improve the local environment and increase business opportunities for their communities.

Detailed map highlighting the geographic locations of past and active projects in India.
Bihar, India
Goats, Seeds, Trees
Active Since

Bihar, located in north-east India, is one of the country’s poorest states. Its population is growing much faster than its economy and in recent years, many people have seen their incomes decline.

The living income gap is significant, but local farmers have started to close it by meeting increased demand for goat meat within the state. Women have come together to form self-help groups, through which they pool and invest their savings. And 4,000 families have received 3 goats each to get their businesses started.


Bihar, India income growth

Living Income Benchmark

Comparison: Living income benchmark and actual net income for 2017 and 2018

With help and support from our local teams, these women have also been provided with seeds to grow their own fodder for their animals and food for their families, as well as trees to improve the local environment.

As part of their commitment to the project and their communities, the women and their families commit to pass on a goat, seeds or trees to another family, once they’ve got their farms up and running. As a result, the project is able to support 24,000 families in total, providing additional business opportunities for people within the communities.


24,000 families supported by our work

As the women start building and scaling up their businesses, they can connect to hubs that are owned and run by farmers and set up with support from Heifer, where they can get easy access to services including veterinary care and bank loans at a competitive rate.

Through the hubs, they can sell their goats and other goods together with other farmers. By pooling their products, farmers are able to command a better price – and provide a guaranteed supply to buyers – which results in more money in their pockets.