Tsumkwe youth receive training on poultry production
The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) recently facilitated a two-day training workshop on poultry production for a group of youth in Tsumkwe.
Tsumkwe is a small settlement mainly inhabited by the San ethnic minority in eastern Namibia. The training formed part of the technical assistance availed by FAO which included the provision of a functional poultry structure, poultry feedstuff, vaccines and close to 100 Lohmann Brown chicken layers.
The scheme seeks to improve the nutrition status of patients mainly on TB and HIV (i.e. ARV) treatment through the state clinic’s soup kitchen, particularly targeting pregnant and lactating women, school children and the San community.
“FAO recognises the importance of poultry as a tool for poverty alleviation, food security, and income generation. Eggs in particular are a rich source of nutritious food for less fortunate individuals and households, which is one of the main reasons why FAO resolved to introduce the poultry scheme,” said Farayi Zimudzi, the FAO Representative in Namibia.
Ingrid Kavari, a small-scale poultry farmer from the Omaheke region who led the training, took the group of 10 local youths through an intense course on layer poultry farming, covering key aspects such as egg production, meat production, bio-security, poultry health and diseases, feed production, composting, and marketing and processing.
The training encompassed both theoretical and practical components on how to best raise egg-laying breeds, allowing the participants to be actively engaged in the entire process.
“Poultry farming requires a hands-on approach and is not for the faint-hearted, I, therefore, encourage you all to be highly committed when undertaking poultry farming,” Kavari told the youth participants.
Amand Mbambo, the Agricultural Extension Officer in the Tsumkwe constituency, who spoke on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform, that is overseeing the project alongside the Ministry of Health and Social Services as well as the Tsumkwe Settlement Committee, motivated the group to use the new skills and knowledge learned through the training to uplift themselves.
“This training is very important as it imparts new valuable skills and knowledge that, if taken seriously, have the potential to create new income opportunities that can enable you to uplift yourselves, your households and the entire community from hunger and poverty,” said Mbambo.
The youth-led poultry scheme is intended to complement Tsumkwe’s Integrated Community-Based Food Systems Project initiated by the World Food Programme (WFP) through donations from the Embassy of Brazil and the Africa Group Heads of Mission in partnership with Standard Bank Namibia.
Meanwhile, George Fedha, WFP’s Country Representative in Namibia, had this to say regarding the multi-stakeholder partnership that characterises the project.
“To address poverty, food and nutrition insecurity, it is important to work towards socio-economic and environmental outcomes at both community and national level. Our partnership with FAO, African Group of Ambassadors and the Embassy of Brazil in Namibia on this project strengthens the availability of healthy, diverse food and imparts skills as a means for poverty reduction for the San communities.”
One of the trainee participants, G!ao /Kunta, expressed his joy in taking part in the training and the endless possibilities that the poultry scheme presents for a young unemployed youth like himself.
“I learnt a lot of valuable information on poultry farming in just two days and I am very confident that I can now help contribute positively to my community’s food security situation and also be able to sustain myself and my family in the long run,” he said.
Other communities in Stampriet, Hardap Region and Utuseb, Erongo Region are set to benefit from the same support. The poultry scheme aligns with FAO’s new strategic framework and contributes to the achievement of several Sustainable Development Goals, particularly SDG 1 (No Poverty), SDG 2 (Zero Hunger), SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being) and SDG 17 (Partnerships for the Goals).
The youth who participated in the training are pictured here in Tsumkwe in front of the poultry structure donated by FAO alongside officials from FAO, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Land Reform and Ministry of Health and Social Services. (©FAO/Phillipus Tobias)