South Africa: Village Poultry Training

In January 2005, Dr Robyn Alders shared experiences of poultry raising in rural communities with poultry group members from the JICA-funded livestock project in Limpopo Province, South Africa.

One of the components of the livestock project was the promotion of existing village chickens for rural household security and low levels of income generation. She visited communities in Mphanama, Strydkraal and Manganeng districts and facilitated a workshop to share poultry raising experiences from Mozambique, including Newcastle disease control activities.

These districts of Limpopo Province are dry areas with erratic, unreliable rainfall. Vegetation is under pressure from a system of communal management and utilisation. In general, little productive vegetation is found around the household areas. The project group wanted to gain some perspective and experience of the role of feed resources for village chickens being raised in similar conditions in Mozambique.

Approximately 50 participants from Mphanama, Strydkraal and Manganeng districts attended the workshop to share and learn from experiences in Mozambique. Robyn was asked to address questions such as, “Are village chickens able to sustain themselves just by scavenging around the house?” and “Do villagers supplement the diet of chickens.” The main issues covered at the workshop were chick mortalities, feeding, predators and diseases.

In follow-up to the workshop, four technical officers from the project visited Gaza Province in Mozambique to share experiences on village poultry production with farmers and extension workers and to observe village chicken research and development activities. They also learnt about the low-cost method for vaccinating village chickens against Newcastle disease.