‘One million indigenous chicks for youth hubs’

Ashton Mutyavaviri

PURSUANT to the growing calls for more investments in youths’ empowerment programmes, Government’s Presidential Poultry Scheme is targeting to distribute a million indigenous chicks to youth hubs that serve as multiplication centres across the country.

Livestock Production Department (LPD) director in the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development Dr Sitokozile Sibanda yesterday said Government would distribute the indigenous chicks to youth hubs in all provinces.

Dr Sibanda said although the programme was for all farmers, this year’s focus was more on youth hubs.

“This year we are targeting to distribute one million indigenous chicks at youth hubs in all provinces, as these will serve as multiplication centres,” said Dr Sibanda.

She said the Presidential Poultry Scheme was meant to empower rural communities and mitigate the effects of climate change.

The Government is determined to make sure there is food security everywhere, leaving no one and no place behind. Distribution of chicks is ongoing, she added.

“The interventions are meant to help increase the country’s food self-sufficiency from 45 to 100 percent, thereby reducing reliance on imports as Government strives to make Zimbabwe the breadbasket of Africa again,” Dr Sibanda explained.

Government introduced the Presidential Poultry Scheme as one of the facets under the Rural Development 8, 0 model. It targets to boost nutrition and incomes at every household across the country.

Meanwhile, the Presidential Poultry distribution statistics released on February 15, 2024 revealed that a total of 130 804 chicks had so far been distributed, with 33 177 going to Harare, 13 570 for Manicaland, 11 800 for Mashonaland Central, 22 526 for Mashonaland East, 13 000 for Masvingo, 18700 for Matabeleland South and 18031 for Midlands.

Statistics also show that Bulawayo, Mashonaland West and Matabeleland North provinces are yet to receive.

Presidential Poultry distribution by province

Province Number of chicks
Bulawayo
Harare 33 177
Manicaland 13 570
Mashonaland Central 11 800
Mashonaland East 22 526
Mashonaland West
Masvingo 13 000
Matabeleland North
Matabeleland South 18 700
Midlands 18 031
Total 130 804

 Source: The Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development

Indigenous chicks provide healthy and nutritious food for consumers while creating employment opportunities in the whole food chain.

In the face of the current drought, indigenous chicks play a significant role in food security and help maintain a healthy population since they are an affordable source of protein.

Farmers can also use traditional medicines such as aloe, which do not come at a cost to treat some health complaints and also capitalise on road runners’ ability to survive as free scavengers to cut on feeding costs.

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