Solomon Islands: Improved Village Poultry Keeping

Russell Parker has dedicated many years to improving village poultry keeping in the Solomon Islands.

Over 80% of the 500,000 population of the Solomons live in a rural subsistence lifestyle, with village poultry the primary source of dietary protein. More than 30% of the children are malnourished and the population generally is protein starved.

Through the use of simple improved poultry husbandry principles, village chicken production can be quickly increased so there is much more meat and eggs to supplement peoples’ meals.

The majority of the village farmers have very small incomes and are not able to utilise the expensive commercial chicken breeds or processed feeds.

So the main training principles are based around the use of local building materials for housing, local acclimatised chicken breeds and balanced feed supplies from the peoples’ improved village food gardens. The use of improved village food gardens and acclimatised indigenous chicken breeds is also proving to be the main stay of new Pacific wide Climate Change Adaptation projects providing more diverse and reliable food sources for the people following Climate Change events.

Surpluses of meat, eggs and live birds can all be easily sold to provide small cash incomes for family needs like school fees, kerosene for lighting or other important necessities.

KYEEMA was granted funds by GRM International to support Russell with the implementation of a training manual and to undertake training of village trainers, as well as villagers themselves, right across the country.

The training workshops produced fifteen master trainers from various areas of the Solomon Islands, who are now capable of conducting training sessions in improved village chicken management. These trainers were also involved in expanding the use of these concepts across the western Pacific area.  From this training and assistance, the people in the villages have benefited from sustained food and income.

The training manual is now available in hardcopy, CD and online here at the Pacific Islands Farmers Organisation Network. Further specific poultry keeping advice is also available through this site.

KYEEMA Solomon Island village