NGOs call for in­dige­nous chick­ens

Sunday News (Zimbabwe) - - Front Page -

A BU­L­AWAYO-BASED farm­ers’ or­gan­i­sa­tion, Matabeleland Goat Sheep Poultry Trust (MGSPT) is in the process of com­pil­ing a list of in­dige­nous chicken breed­ers in Matabeleland re­gion with an aim of sup­ply­ing a con­sor­tium of non­govern­men­tal or­gan­i­sa­tions ( NGOs) as part of their poverty al­le­vi­a­tion pro­gramme in re­mote ar­eas.

MGSPT board sec­re­tary Mr Kind­man Ndlovu said the or­gan­i­sa­tion has en­tered into ne­go­ti­a­tions with the Catholic Re­lief Ser­vices (CRS) for the sup­ply of 20 000 free range chick­ens for on­ward dis­tri­bu­tion to ben­e­fi­cia­ries in se­lected districts in Matabeleland.

CRS spear­heads the poultry project part­nered by Car­i­tas In­ter­na­tion­alis, Pro Africa and Ad­ven­tist De­vel­op­ment and Re­lief Agency. “We are cur­rently com­pil­ing a list of in­dige­nous chicken farm­ers in and around Bu­l­awayo so as to sup­ply an ini­tia­tive be­ing car­ried out by CRS and its other NGO part­ners.

The pro­gramme is more of the same as the ones th­ese NGOs fa­cil­i­tate, which en­tail as­sist­ing farm­ers in terms of en­sur­ing seed avail­abil­ity and live­stock re­stock­ing and for this par­tic­u­lar one they in­tend hav­ing to en­sure their ben­e­fi­cia­ries re­stock through small stock in the form of in­dige­nous chicken,” said Mr Ndlovu.

He said MGSPT held a meet­ing with rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the four NGOs last month to be en­light­ened about the pro­gramme.

“We had a meet­ing with the rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the four NGOs where the project’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions were high­lighted to us. They are mainly look­ing for breed­ing stock of at least 12 weeks old.

The birds will be dis­trib­uted at what they term DiNER (Di­ver­sity and Nu­tri­tion for En­hanced Re­silience) fairs that will be held at se­lected districts within Matabeleland,” said Mr Ndlovu.

He said as part of meet­ing the num­ber of birds re­quired by the NGOs, MGSPT has widened its scope to in­clude its non­mem­bers that are ac­tively par­tic­i­pat­ing in rear­ing in­dige­nous chick­ens.

One of the big­gest pro­duc­ers of in­dige­nous chick­ens in Matabeleland Mr Ag­grey Moyo said the pro­gramme pre­sented farm­ers with an op­por­tu­nity to re­alise mean­ing­ful re­turns from their birds, fur­ther stat­ing that he has par­tic­i­pated in it for the past two years.

“In­dige­nous chick­ens can give the best op­por­tu­nity to those who venture into it but it’s be­ing slowed down by a num­ber of fac­tors, which in­clude the avail­abil­ity of pure blood lines of the breed­ing stock that is only avail­able in our neigh­bour­ing coun­tries as well as cost of rais­ing each bird ver­sus the sell­ing price af­ter five to six months pe­riod,” said Mr Moyo.

He also noted that the price of feed has gone up as­tro­nom­i­cally threat­en­ing the vi­a­bil­ity of poultry busi­ness in the coun­try.

In­dige­nous chick­ens

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