Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporter
GOVERNMENT is registering communal farmers to benefit under the Presidential Poultry Scheme to be rolled out across the country.
A total of 134 018 households are expected to benefit in Matabeleland North.
President Mnangagwa is expected to launch the national scheme in Matabeleland North on a date yet to be advised as part of the rural industrialisation programme.
Rural industrialisation speaks to communities utilising local resources for development.
President Mnangagwa said there is a need to trigger and establish economic activity in each province and improve livelihoods and reduce the need for rural-urban migration.
Already some districts are involved in agricultural production that is transformative to their communities.
In an interview yesterday, acting Matabeleland North Agritex director Mr Dumisani Nyoni said nearly 40 000 beneficiaries are expected to receive the first batch of chicks when the programme is rolled out.
“We are expecting 39 298 beneficiaries and each beneficiary is to get 10 chicks or chickens and this will result in 392 980 to be distributed once they are procured. This will translate to almost 134 018 households that will be covered under the scheme,” said Mr Nyoni.
“They will be given chicks under a programme named the pass-on scheme. We are looking at improved indigenous chickens which are not difficult to keep and can be fed on already existing stockfeed including sorghum that is available in communities. Each and every homestead is expected to have chickens.”
“Depending on the age of the bird that you would be given, the bird is expected to give you chicks in about six to eight months period then you pass on the chicks to the next person behind. So, this project is dependent on the chick that you are going to get before you pass it on. If we are going to give you three months old, then it will take much earlier to get to a breeding stage.”
He said the project is targeting communal farmers in rural areas.
Mr Nyoni said the poultry project is an economic enabler if it is professionally done.
He said some poultry farmers have managed to even send children to school and buy other livestock through chicken farming.
“You may be able to pay school fees, right now chickens are sold between US$5 and US$7, so if you manage to keep them well you will be able to buy goats and gradually you can buy cattle from income obtained through poultry projects. Some people have really progressed through selling chickens as they now own goats and they have sold their goats and managed to buy cattle,” he said.