Presidential Rural Poultry Scheme: 368 000 chicks distributed
Precious Manomano-Herald Reporter
Rural households have so far received over 368 000 chicks under the Presidential Rural Poultry Scheme, a major development that has transformed lives in rural communities.
The poultry scheme is set to increase rural income and alleviate poverty through commercialising poultry production.
It also intends to provide 30 million rural chickens to three million rural households.
The development will also boost nutrition in the rural areas, as Zimbabwe moves to attain an upper middle income society status by 2030.
Each rural household will get 10 free-range chicks in batches, over a five-year period, as part of the Second Republic’s drive to alleviate poverty and boost rural incomes in line with the policy of leaving no one and no place behind.
A weekly update from the Ministry of Lands, Agriculture, Fisheries, Water and Rural Development revealed that 6 102 rural chickens were distributed in Zvimba district during the week giving a cumulative figure of 367 806 chicks distributed across the country since the launch of the scheme.
The report also states that the total number of birds distributed has been lower than expected due to delays in paying the contractor.
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 has 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. We really appreciate this scope as it will help to increase exports and incomes for rural households,” he said.
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.
“To those who have so far received the chicks, a great change and improvement in living conditions is so far seen to most individuals. 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 too.
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.