Raising emus (the large, flightless bird belonging to the Casuariidae family) is one of the most popular businesses of farmers in the western part of Tamil Nadu for the last five years. Almost every other day, hundreds of farmers who have spare land, rush to these emu-growing business establishments to purchase the birds as they believe it is the easiest way to make a fast buck.
Large emu growers claim that it has been a successful venture for many so far. “The business model that is being sold to farmers is that anyone with 1,000 square feet of land can get six emus at Rs1.5 lakh.” “The farmer receives the bird when it is three months old and raises it for two years during which period he will be paid Rs6,000 a month and a bonus of Rs20,000 annually. At the end of the period, the seller takes back the bird,” said a member of the south Indian emu farmers association.