PM Touts Indigenous Poultry Farming

TANZANIA - The government has been advised to promote commercialisation of indigenous poultry keeping in its poverty reduction strategies.
calendar icon 2 April 2012
clock icon 3 minute read

According to AllAfrica, the advice is among several appeals made at a recent seminar coordinated by MUVEK Development Solutions on Research Into Use (RIU) Programme knowledge outputs to boost the local poultry industry.

RIU is a DFID supported action research and development programme designed to put agricultural research into use for developmental purposes.

The programme works towards improved communication and harmonisation for effective sharing and influencing local, national and international policy agenda.

The seminar also suggested to the government to make a deliberate investment boost in the industry by setting up a special fund under the economic empowerment programme, specifically for empowerment of indigenous poultry stakeholders as is the case with horticulture, malaria and HIV/AIDS.

MUVEK Board Chair, Prof Lusato Kurwijila, of Sokoine University of Agriculture, said on proper promotion indigenous chicken farming would enormously improve the lives of millions of Tanzanians. He said it was wrong to think that exotic chicken breeds were better in commercialisation than indigenous ones.

"What we need is to promote innovations in the sector and do the indigenous poultry keeping professionally. With proper management they take about three months to mature," Kurwijila said.

A poultry farmer from Rufiji, Ms Maimuna Mkongea, said that before Muvek and RIU reached Rufiji, she could not afford life since she could only keep up to 20 chickens and could not pay school fees.

"After MUVEK assistance I started increasing the number of my chickens and recently I sold 300 chickens and opened a bank account for the first time in my life at 61," said the farmer.

She then called for all development actors to empower the rural poor: "Come and help us learn improved ways and then facilitate us to utilize the skills because we can, we are not lazy, we just lack technical and financial capacity!" said Maimuna.

According to the Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries Development, Tanzania has about 50 million chickens of which 35 million are of indigenous breeds while the remaining 15 million are exotic.

The seminar opened by the Prime Minister, Mizengo Pinda, was also attended by senior government officials from different ministries, researchers, academics, private sector leaders and development partners.

In his speech, Mr Pinda commended RIU knowledge innovations in making indigenous poultry keeping an important economic venture that could play a key role in poverty eradication. He also reiterated that the government would help small scale chicken keepers to improve their living conditions.

"Indeed Muvek through RIU has been an eye opener. By enabling small scale farmers to keep 100 to 400 chickens MUVEK and RIU have proved that indigenous chicken farming can be used for poverty eradication," the premier said.

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