We can finally travel to outer islands, all internal borders have been open since late last year, and commercial national and international flights have been up and running with the tourism industry reopening fully in April, 2022!
We are now able to host our training workshops again at our Happy Chickens Farm (www.teiteifiji.org). We just held six one-day Happy Chicken workshops at the Teitei farm in October, plus one in Naidiri village down on the coast about 45 minutes away. A total of over 90 people were trained, poor farmers who had already received chicks and who were harvesting eggs. A special focus was on women, youth, and elderly people, who learned how to better manage a flock for breeding using locally abailable feeds and inexpensive housing materials. Most importantly, we trained the participants on how to operate the incubators that we gave out, to encourage small home businesses for women and youth farmers.
Earlier this year we applied and received funds from the Australian Direct Aid program to purchase 60 small 48-egg incubators to set up these small businesses. Due to buying in bulk, we were able to secure 70 incubators and have a wider impact on our local communities.
SMALL HATCHERIES -- BIG FINANCIAL GAIN FOR POOR FARMERS!
The official government poverty level in Fiji is an annual income of FJD 7,000 (USD $3,500) income for a family of six (you read that correctly – PER YEAR not per month). Fortunately, nearly everyone has a garden, coconut trees, and access to fishing and wild foods. In 2019, 30% of the population of Fiji lived below the poverty level! With the closure of the tourism industry, the biggest employer, for the past two years the number of poor families has soared. Add to that the recent food price increases, and it is becoming even more difficult for poor families to survive.
A small hatchery business can mean a lot to a family. Chicks are in high demand and can be sold for 3 FJD each (USD 1.50). The infertile eggs can be candled at 5 days and removed from the incubator, and are still good to eat! This can result in an income every 3 weeks of about FJD $130, or USD $65, as well as a healthy protein source. That may not sound like much to you or me, but it means over a thousand US dollars in income per year, increasing a poor family's income by at least 20%! This can make a huge difference to a struggling family.
Your donations to this project have funded multiple training workshops for eligible community members as well as their transport to and from the workshop. Women and youth and older people no longer able to work heavy labor on the land, were trained in all aspects of small-scale chicken production and the operation of the incubators and took home their very own incubators to grow their businesses.
GLOBAL WHEAT SHORTAGES -- LOCAL CHICKEN FEED PRICES SOAR
Chicken feeds sold in Fiji are made from 90% imported wheat. We have growing concerns that the global shortage of wheat will result in a big increase in local chicken feed prices. To ensure our trainees can be as successful as possible we include the production of local feeds in our workshops and continue our coconut rehabilitation and moringa seedling distribution programs (Google Moringa!). Stay tuned for the results in our next report!
UPCOMING GIVING OPPORTUNITIES
New recurring donations up to $200, which are sustained for four months are matched.
Announcing HOPE FOR CORALS: Starting January 1st and ending March 31st, your gifts of any amount will receive an astounding 300% bonus. An incentive fund of $10,000 has been made available to Corals for Conservation by GlobalGiving in part because our work answers an urgent need for mankind and the corals which bring life.
Your donations sustain our livelihoods chicken & egg program: providing protein sources and income! Thank you, everyone.
Happy Chicken Training on improved housing.