Empowering Women and Strengthening Communities with Village Chicken Businesses in Mozambique

In Mozambique, many households are led by women who struggle to provide for their families. These women often face additional challenges to men such as safety concerns, childcare responsibilities, lack of economic control and resources. Consequently, they have a harder time making ends meet and ensuring their children are well-nourished and healthy. The country faces significant nutritional challenges, with 43% of children under five being stunted and 6% acutely malnourished. These statistics highlight the urgent need for better nutrition and food security.

Recognizing this need, the Kyeema Foundation launched the “Promoting Local Chicken Small Business to Mitigate the Impact of COVID-19 on Rural Vulnerable Women” project in Marracuene District. This initiative aims to improve the nutrition, health, and livelihoods of rural communities through small-scale poultry production. By providing training, chicks, and necessary equipment, Kyeema helps women start and manage small chicken farms, empowering them economically and enhancing their families’ well-being. These small businesses enable women to generate income, improve household welfare, and contribute to the local economy.

Village Chicken Businesses in Mozambique

Village chickens are an ideal solution for female-run small businesses as they are easy to raise, require minimal resources, and offer a quick source of income. They produce eggs and meat, which are excellent sources of protein and essential nutrients. This not only helps improve child nutrition but also reduces malnutrition and stunting. Additionally, women can sell surplus eggs and chickens in the local market, generating income to cover household needs like school fees, healthcare, and other essentials. This economic empowerment enables women to contribute more significantly to their families and communities.

The Impact of Kyeema’s Poultry Project in Mozambique

One of the participants of this project is Mrs. Gina Cossa, a 54-year-old woman living with her disabled husband, Fernando, a former Ministry of Defence employee. Since 1994, the family has relied on a modest pension. However, with the start of Kyeema’s project, Mrs. Cossa saw an opportunity to enhance her family’s income and stability.

As an initial step, Mrs. Cossa had purchased a Boschveld hen and a rooster from her neighbor to begin building a flock for additional income. In May 2022, she was selected as a participant in Kyeema’s female-led village chicken project, where participants received twenty 4-week-old Boschveld chickens. Through the project’s training programs and technical support, she acquired vital skills in natural incubation, breeding, feed formulation, and disease prevention.

Mrs. Cossa has successfully tripled her flock as it has grown to 60 chickens. Benefiting from higher-than-average market prices for her birds, she can sell each chicken for 500 MZN (approximately US $7.90), compared to the typical price of US $4.70 for native village chickens. This significant price difference has bolstered her family’s income and improved their quality of life.

Kyeema’s Africa Regional Manager, Rosa Costa, shared insights into Mrs. Cossa’s dedication: “It is very beautiful and gratifying to see the patience she has with the chicks, separating them from their mothers when they are hatched. Before doing this, she lost more than 10 chicks. She puts the chicks in a basin and uses her ‘capulanas’ (a type of sarong worn in Mozambique) to keep them warm.” During a monitoring visit on March 8th, Fernando stated, ‘My wife raises the chickens with patience, and she loves it’.

Moz Mrs Gina Cossa

Mrs Gina taking the chicks out of their chicken house

Sustainable Development and Community Resilience

This project not only enhances individual livelihoods but also promotes sustainable agriculture and community resilience. By providing training in disease prevention and feed management, Kyeema ensures that participants can maintain healthy flocks and maximize their profits. Additionally, the project addresses food security by increasing the availability of high-quality animal products, which are crucial for improving nutrition in rural communities.

Mrs. Gina Cossa’s journey exemplifies the beneficial impact of Kyeema’s poultry project, showcasing how targeted interventions can uplift vulnerable populations and drive sustainable development while improving health and nutrition outcomes for communities.

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Kyeema Foundation’s efforts are supported by the Australian Government through the Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP). With this support we are able to make significant strides in empowering women, fostering economic independence, and building resilient communities in Mozambique.

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