Michael Magoronga, Midlands Correspondent
SMALLholder farmers are now dominating the broiler and egg supply chain in the market as more players are joining the industry under the Inclusive Poultry Value Chain (IPVC) drive.
The increase in domestic poultry production buttresses the Government’s Livestock Recovery and Growth Plan, which is part of the Agriculture and Food Systems Transformation Strategy launched last year that seeks to achieve a US$8,2 billion agriculture economy by 2025.
The IPVC project is being supported by the European Union (EU) under the Zimbabwe Agricultural Growth Programme (ZAGP).
The project is meant to tackle Zimbabwe’s livestock challenges through providing the required funding and 40 million euros has so far been availed.
The poultry market has been greatly transformed as it now has more smallholder farmers producing the bulk of the poultry products.
Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Deputy Minister Vangelis Peter Haritatos, who officially launched the Mbizo IPVC Centre in Kwekwe recently, said the Government was impressed by small-holder farmers, especially women.
“The IPVC programme is also benefitting the marginalised smallholder farmers who include women.
Statistics from the Zimbabwe Poultry Association indicate that two thirds of all broiler meat is produced by small and medium scale farmers,” said Deputy Minister Haritatos.
He said there was a similar trend in the eggs production where independent small to medium producers contribute 60 percent of production.
“Notably, women constitute the bulk of the poultry producers, with figures indicating that more than 60 percent of the producers in the poultry sector are women.”
Deputy Minister Haritatos said as the country commemorates the 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, it was critical to capacitate smallholder poultry producers who are mostly women.
He said President Mnangagwa’s vision of having a prosperous and empowered upper middle-income society by 2030, prioritises inclusive development that ensures no one is left behind.
“The IPVC project, among other goals, seeks to improve the productivity, profitability and sustainability of small and medium producers in the poultry value chain,” said Haritatos.
IPVC team leader, Mr Joseph Matiza, said the project has since assisted more than 5 000 small scale to medium poultry farmers in the last 13 months.
He said the organisation spent US$1,3 million of the funds buying chicks and feed for small-holder producers.
“The IPVC is meant to establish functional poultry business centres like the one we are witnessing today which will reduce poultry production costs and boost production,” said Mr Matiza.
The Kwekwe Poultry Centre is on a 2 300m2 piece of land which was allocated by the Kwekwe City Council.