Training, Technology Welcomed by Small Producers

TANZANIA - Smaller poultry farmers in the district of Rufiji have welcomed the training and technology offered through international farmers co-operation.
calendar icon 20 December 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

Rufiji farmers have hailed the outcome of a research on poultry keeping, saying it has transformed their lives.

The research has been organised by a Research Into Use programme (RIU) funded by the UK through the Department for International Development.

Speaking to The Guardian of Tanzania recently, some local poultry keepers in the district said the research had helped them to know and apply modern methods of keeping poultry.

"Many of us for a long time did not understand how to keep poultry in a modern way and improve our incomes and livelihoods," said Kasim Mtumbei, a poultry keeper in Rufiji District.

He said in the past, he did not understand that indigenous chickens needs proper sheds and hatchery machines and vaccinations.

"We used to keep our poultry in a local way believing that everything goes well but after training from the RIU programme, we realised that we were not doing the right thing," he said.

Mr Mtumbei noted that after following poultry keeping procedures, he had increased the number of indigenous chickens for a short period from five to 200 at the moment.

Apart from gaining the knowledge, he said he had signed a contract with the RIU programme, which had provided him with 200 indigenous chickens, starter and finisher feeds enough for one month, all vaccines and vet drugs when chicks fell sick.

He also got a free poultry handbook, a full-time extension advisor and markets.

He sold about 180 chickens and earned enough money to enable him to pay school fees for his children and meet other expenses.

"In the past, it was very difficult to pay for the fees because I used to keep few indigenous chickens for the family," he said.

Another poultry keeper, Maimuna Mkongea, said although she had been keeping poultry for a long time she had never received any training.

"After applying the new methods, the poultry grew within four months. As a result, production and income increased," she said.

She challenged Rufiji District Council veterinary officers to support them in case they need services instead of leaving it to veterinary practitioners from Dar es Salaam.

Speaking earlier, RIU Tanzania Country coordinator Vera Florida Mugittu said at the beginning research outputs did not earn the Rufiji farmers anything until they were helped by the programme, reports The Guardian.

She said the programme had helped them to "know them", "access them" and "use them".

"With this I mean that, the knowledge about incubators, vaccines, recommended poultry feeds, veterinarians. Vet drugs have been existing in the country for many years now but these farmers never knew or used them," she said.

She explained that through contract farming, farmers had been introduced to new ways of managing the same type of chickens and had now benefited from them.

The programme is meant to urge the government and other development actors, who want to help small farmers grow to patiently invest in supporting them to know, access and use scientifically recommended technologies and practices in whatever enterprises they are currently engaged in.

She said from June this year, the programme though an initiative known as 'Kuku deal' introduced indigenous poultry contracts farming for resource poor rural small holder farmers. To date, the programme has signed a contract with over 2,000 poultry farmers from Kibaha, Bagamoyo, Mkuranga, Rufiji and Kisarawe districts, concludes the report in The Guardian.

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