The overall objective of the Inclusive Poultry Value Chain (IPVC) project is the development of an efficient poultry value chain which contributes to inclusive green economic growth in Zimbabwe. The project is implemented by COSPE in partnership with Welthungerhilfe (WHH), Sustainable Agriculture Technology (SAT), Cultivating New Frontiers in Agriculture (CNFA), Zimbabwe Poultry Association (ZPA) and the Livestock and Meat Advisory Council (LMAC).
The broiler value chain was one of the fastest growing sectors in Zimbabwe during the last decade, with an estimated growth rate of 50% in three years (from 88,000 tons in 2012 to 132,000 tons in 2014). However, following a period of macroeconomic decline compounded by an outbreak of Avian Influenza in 2017, there has been an overall decline in growth of 10% in the sector. Most of the broiler production is carried out by Small and Medium Producers (SMPs) whose recovery is vital for the inclusive growth of the sector.
The IPVC project therefore seeks to implement interventions to improve the productivity of the SMPs This will be achieved by improving the economic, social and environmental performance of the poultry value chain and creating an enabling environment for a sustainable and inclusive poultry sector. The project target areas are Bulawayo, Gweru, Harare, Mutare, and Masvingo.
At least 10 integrators will be assisted to develop inclusive business models. The project targets 7,500 broiler and 2,500 egg SMPs who will benefit from improved social, environmental and economic performance of the VC at all levels.
IPVC is facilitating local production of feed using local cereals/legumes assist farmers to counter continuous rise of chicken feed prices in Zimbabwe due to the unstable economy. This has forced a lot of poultry farmers to downsize. Most farmers are unable to cope with the expensive chicken feed, leading to high mortality rates, underweight chickens and in some cases, low egg production.
The project is working with the SMPs on the growing of appropriate crops like maize, small grains such as sorghum, soya and sunflower seeds. IPVC identified Lead Farmers, who have more than 500 chickens, to disburse inputs towards feed formulations. Inputs were distributed to 146 lead farmers across all our clusters. The aim is to train farmers to formulate their own feed using available grains within the homestead.
One of the lead farmers in Seke district, Mashonaland East province showing her soya beans for feed formulation
The project sought the expertise of an animal nutritionist, who assessed the opportunities for own feed formulation for poultry farmers across all IPVC clusters. This research will lead to the development of a strategy for locally produced feed.
IPVC is also in the process of establishing Poultry Business Units (PBUs) in each cluster which act as administration and coordination units for collective action for SMPs. The PBU enables farmer groups to gain economiesof scaleand scope to access extension, inputs, financial and market services in a more convenient and profitable manner.
The PBU is owned, managed by and provides services to the farmer members. Two professional recruited staff members, that is, an administrator with mobilisation, extension and farmer organisation skills, and a bookkeeper provide human resources services to the hub. Each hub on average comprises of 1000 farmers, with an average flock size of 200 birds, targeting 5 cycles in a year. This gives a total output of 1 000 000 birds in a year. The hub operational costs are expected to be fully met from percentage contribution by SMP savings from bulk purchase.