Presidential Rural Poultry Scheme to benefit 3 million
Precious Manomano, Harare Bureau
AT least three million rural households will benefit from the Presidential Rural Poultry Scheme (PRPS) which is now being rolled out in all provinces, with 343 924 birds already distributed.
Each household is getting 10 birds and a 200g vitamin stress pack.
This is contained in a report by the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development on the crop and livestock programmes in the present season.
“A total of 343 924 rural poultry birds were distributed since the Presidential launch on December 2, 2022 when the last distribution was conducted,” said the ministry.
The poultry scheme is set to increase rural incomes and alleviate poverty through commercialising rural poultry production.
Rural households usually keep just a few road runners for meat and eggs to supplement their diet and rarely have any birds for sale. But this is now changing.
The poultry scheme, which is set to provide a new revenue stream for rural families, comes as a huge benefit to rural communities who usually do not have any commercial activity after harvesting summer crops.
Farmers’ unions have hailed the scheme saying it has already positively improved the livelihoods of many people in rural areas.
Former Zimbabwe National Farmers’ Union vice-president Mr Edward Dune said the initiative was greatly appreciated, adding that it had boosted food security and nutrition, especially in rural communities.
“This is a positive step towards alleviating poverty, especially to the vulnerable groups and widows who are struggling to make ends meet,” he said. “We really appreciate this scope as it will help to increase sales and incomes for rural households.”
Zimbabwe Indigenous Women Farmers’ Trust president, Mrs Depinah Nkomo said: “This scheme has helped a lot. Many people are now earning a living through this initiative. Prostitution and robbery cases will be reduced because of this empowerment project.
“Those who have so far received the chicks have had an improvement in living conditions. We, however, appeal to the Government that distribution of the chicks be done in a transparent manner to ensure that all deserving people benefit from the scheme.”
While the scheme is largely aimed at rural communities, those in urban areas will not be left behind.
The Presidential Rural Poultry Scheme falls under the Livestock Growth Plan (2021-2025).
Zimbabwe’s poultry industry is set to be transformed into big businesses and will be a key cog of the national economy through the development of hatcheries, transport and logistics business, refrigeration services and much more.
Livestock remains a pivotal sub-sector within the agricultural industry and a key income generating enterprise for the farmer.
The project is part of Government’s broader vision of creating a US$8,5 billion agricultural industry by 2025 which dovetails with the Second Republic’s signature vision of having an upper middle-income economy by 2030.
The interventions have already pushed up food self-sufficiency considerably from the 45 percent it had fallen to.
Already imports have ceased for maize, traditional grains and wheat, with imports of oil seeds drastically reduced and likely to end soon.
Dairy still has significant imports, but milk production is rising fast.