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Training Sessions Help Rural Communities

by 5m Editor
31 May 2011, at 8:13am

TANZANIA - Poultry farmers have received training in poultry keeping.

More than 1,600 traditional poultry farmers in the districts of Singida and Iramba districts have been trained on better rearing techniques aimed at transforming the indigenous poultry sector from a conventional subsistence activity into a commercial business.

According to The Guardian of Tanzania, the project, which is the brainchild of the Rural Livelihood Development Company (RLDC), had been implemented by Farm Concern International (FCI) to make the sector provide employment and income for rural smallholder producers.

Singida region leads in producing better and tasty breeds of traditional chickens in Tanzania, and currently it has more than 750,000 local chickens.

Iramba district-based local poultry farmer, Haika Nkungu, said the training made her and her colleagues refrain from traditional ways of doing things.

"I thank FCI for coming up with the training, which has already changed our mind-sets and the way of doing things, as earlier I never thought that local chickens could be of benefit to me," she said, adding that the initiative had changed peoples' mind-sets.

A mother of three, she revealed that before undergoing the training, they never knew about poultry diseases and control measures.

"A few days ago, I sold 150 chickens at whose sale price where I got more than 1m/-, which helped me pay school fee for my child, who is in Form One," she recounted.

Another villager from Mwanyonye village in Singida rural district, Jovita Lucas, called on women in the region to get involved in the project, which is very easy to run and very productive and can make people step from the poverty trap.

"After this training, I am targeting to have more than 500 local chickens within a year from the current 70 chickens I have," she said.

Hosea Yesaya from Mtinko village also said that poultry farming had helped him and other villagers to find a reliable source of income by selling chickens and eggs.

He expressed optimism that the sector was very promising for people at the grass-roots level who have limited sources of income.

FCI project manager, Dolores Msimbira, said that the villagers were trained on different issues, ranging from chicken selection, eggs management, marketing, diseases controls, manufacturing of feeds and hatching.

"If this sector is managed well, it will remain an important gear in scaling down poverty levels amongst the underprivileged villagers," she said.

According to MS Msimbira, the project involved 30 villages in the two districts, 15 villages from each district, whereby after the training in every village, a group of 60 people was formed.

"We also established one chicken housing facility in every group, which will be used as a model for other villagers to use as a sample and establish their own in their homes," she said, adding that the project is meant to increase the number of traditional chickens in the region.

Iramba district agricultural and livestock development officer Aaron Bullu commended FCI for coming up with the initiative, saying the move would increase the number of local chickens in the district, according to the report in The Guardian.