This project (supported by Elanco Animal Health and its employees) has enabled vulnerable rural farm families to enhance their livelihoods and food security through integrated agriculture production, promotion of health and enterprise development in Masaiti, Kalulushi, Mpongwe and Luanshya districts. The project continues to improve participants’ skills and knowledge in integrated agriculture, nutrition, hygieneand sanitation practices. Local institutions have also adopted these practices through the support of community leaders.
To date, 9,203 families (2,993 more than planned) have been supported with draft and dairy cattle, meat goats, vegetable packs, agroforestry seeds and other interventions. During two Passing on the Gift® (POG) ceremonies, 47 new families received a total of 12 draft cattle, 21 dairy cattle and 140 goats. Chickens, eggs, milk and fish provided families with a variety of animal protein, and families also had access to fresh vegetables.
Furthermore, families are engaged in marketing livestock, livestock products and horticultural produce—especially milk, maize and fresh vegetables. Farmers are now selling 110 pound bags of maize directly to the private sector for about $15, which is approximately $2 more than they received from milling companies or the government through the Food ReserveAgency. Monthly incomes also improved from livestock and milk sales, allowing 65 families to buy bicycles to transport milk and iron roofing sheets for their homes.
In addition, a total of 790 men and 1,017 women participated in trainings including: Manure Use, Bee Keeping, Human Nutrition, Entrepreneurship, Conservation Farming, Livestock Management, Enterprise Development, Gender Equity and Leadership, Water and Sanitation Practices, Milking Techniques and Hygiene, Group Dynamics and Management, and Community Animal Health Workers (CAHWs).
Elanco has, just this month, completed funding of this project. Thanks to Elanco, all its employees and everyone who gave to the project on GlobalGiving.org. Please consider giving to Heifer's other projects on GlobalGiving.org...just search for Heifer. Or visit www.heifer.org for more information about Heifer International and our partners.
During this reporting period, the project families have made significant income from buffaloes keeping, selling milk and milk products; and tailoring. Increased group leadership has come up with increased and effective coordination and collaboration with different stakeholders regarding to the developmental activities. Increased awareness about the sanitation, health and hygiene has supported to undertake sanitation campaigns, keep the surroundings neat and clean. After receiving different slots of the trainings, communities members have maintained social harmony being united and supporting each other. Similarly, project families have cultivated vegetables by using organic manures and have been consuming fresh vegetables daily. It has supported them to be healthy. Besides, they have applied improved animal management technology. Discrimination based on caste, race, gender and religion has remarkably reduced. Communities members appreciate each others feelings, thoughts and ideas and share for betterment of themselves. Seeing the change in project families and the whole communities, 23 other families (outsiders) have recently improved their cattle sheds.
In 2003, Royda, 47, and her husband moved from the mining town of Luanshya to begin farming on about four acres of land in Kamisega village. During the first few years, they had difficules producing enough food to support themselves and their six children. Within a short time, Royda’s husband became ill and passed away.
“I did not know how I was going to survive with the children,” Royda said. “Hope was all I had and I held onto it.”
A neighbor told Royda about a local Heifer International women’s self-help group, and encouraged her to join. “I was hesitant because I was not sure how I was going to be received, but I decided to join anyway,” she said. “I was surprised by everyone’s warm, friendly welcome that made me feel at home.”
After Royda attended self-help group meetings and training sessions, she received a dairy heifer in November 2011. Since then, the diary cow has enabled her to diversify and increase her income. She was able to pay cash for about 25 acres of land that sold for approximately $176 per acre. Royda has also hired brick makers to help build a three bedroom home on the new land.
“I am not worried about paying them because I know I have the resources,” she said. “This would not have been possible if it were not for my cow.”