Our first community village chicken keeping training with local government in Central Province, Papua New Guinea
A five-day training course on keeping healthy and productive chickens for household income and food and nutrition security was held for community members from 11 villages at the government agricultural training centre at Mirigeda. Despite delays due to COVID-19, this community training finally went ahead from 28 September to 2 October, using a COVID-19 safe plan involving social distancing and hygiene practices.
Mr Michael Aisi, a Senior Provincial Livestock Officer and Para Vet from the Central Provincial Government and Sylvester Bannon – former Central Province DAL Advisor and leader of a local existing Village Chicken Cooperative Group, trained participants in the essentials of setting up productive village poultry flocks. The group members were an eager and diverse group made up of males and females, included youth, the elderly and a vision-impaired person.
Mr Dale Winnie, a visually impaired participant and talented local musician singing the ‘Hanua Kokoroku’ or ‘Village Chicken’ song at the end of the training week and played to the group after the certificate ceremony and final comments.
Participants learned about farm plans for biosecurity, housing chickens (including adequate floor litter management, spacing, roosts and nest boxes), disease prevention, using local feeds, egg management, breeding management (selecting bird traits for good laying and meat purposes) and business plans (including forming farmer cooperatives to promote marketing and value chain development of locally adapted breeds). They also toured one of our supported village poultry Master Farms managed by Master Farmer Mr Edea Egu, to see firsthand how productive and valuable (not to mention beautiful!) household village chicken flocks can be with the right care and use of freely available local resources.
The feedback from participants was overwhelmingly positive, with strong-felt declarations at the end of the certificate ceremonies from key leaders that this training has been important for progressing the livelihoods agenda in the country. Furthermore, there was great enthusiasm for working together to build numbers of resilient and healthy, locally adapted village chicken flocks in the region. The group nominated Mr Emmanuel Ume, Master Farmer from Vanapa Chicken Farm, to be the spokesperson for village chickens in Central Province and several other male and female roles to move forward as a village chicken farming collective. One of the participants even sang the ‘village chicken’ song as inspiration for the group at the end of the week.
We must thank the Central Province Government, including an appearance by the Provincial Administrator Mr Glen Gani and Mr Igo Gari from our local partner Hiri Coral, for facilitating this week. It wouldn’t have gone ahead without your significant organisational input.
Ms Rose Daure (right) receiving her certificate of completion from Iga Peni, a Manager at Central Province Administration
Enthusiastic youth participants taking notes to learn all they can about improved village chicken keeping.