Chicken farmers in Goromonzi, located in the east of Harare, are running thriving egg-production projects after getting start-up assistance from the German non-governmental organisation HELP.
Under the project named Egg to Go, many of the chicken farmers have begun to find hope.
The farmers have also been benefitting from expert advice from HELP on protecting their flocks from disease.
This is on the backdrop of big losses in the aftermath of an avian influenza outbreak that struck in Zimbabwe and other neighboring countries in June this year.
Zimbabwe has since been facing a shortage of eggs and poultry products following the outbreak of the disease.
The avian flu struck several farms including the country’s largest chicken producer, where at least a million birds were culled, and cost the company 7.3 million dollars in losses.
The outbreak also affected the supply of chickens, breeding stocks, table and hatching eggs. Egg and day-old-chick production was also reduced by 55 percent.
With assistance from HELP, the 2,100 Goromonzi district farmers have since been able produce at least 50,000 crates a month under the Egg to Go project, as well as use their earnings to fund other farming activities.
Tendai Mupariwa, secretary for Goromonzi Poultry Producers Union and co-operative society, has been among the many beneficiaries of the Egg to Go project.
He began famring in 2015 with 30 layers and now has 150 birds. This is after selling 120 that were past laying age. He yields 120 eggs a day.
“I can do lots of things that I would not be able to do by myself if I did not have this income from the egg project,” said Mupariwa.
“I can pay school fees for my five children including one who is in boarding school. I am now able to buy inputs for my other farm projects on time.
”Because we earn cash from selling chickens we no longer have to go to the bank and spend hours queueing for cash, which you may even fail to get after queuing for long hours.“
Godfrey Muchenje, chairperson of the union, said that the project has transformed the livelihoods of many villagers.
”This project has transformed the livelihoods of members of our union and their families,“ Muchenje said. ”They no longer struggle to raise school fees for their children and no longer worry about money for their day-to-day needs.
“There are also a lot of businesses linked to the poultry projects. Many of our members have started other business projects from funds raised through the egg-production. This is a noble project. Many are engaging in farming more professionally as family businesses.”