As climate change ravages the natural environment and causes extreme weather events, greatly disturbing economic activities in many areas in Zimbabwe, the dry spells in Beitbridge have robbed the locals of their key sources of livelihood.
It is against this background that small livestock production has emerged as a key resilience mechanism for local farmers in Beitbridge who are supported by the Zimbabwe Resilience Building Fund (ZRBF) funded PROGRESS project.
Mrs Raina Muleya is a member and secretary of Mvelaphanda Poultry Project. Raina (53), resides at Malala village ward 6.
She is widowed and stays with her six grandchildren, four of which are girls. All her grandchildren attend Malala Primary and Malala Secondary schools.
“I joined the project in 2020 when we were mainly doing the Village Savings and Loan Association (VSLA) group and getting loans,” she said.
“It’s not just about the loans. We have also ventured into poultry this year,” she added.
“When I joined the group, I did not have any source of income and struggled to pay the monthly subscription. My group members were patient with me as they were aware of my situation.”
Eventually she managed to loan out some funds from her group and would order and sell vegetables locally. She made small profits which sustained her and enabled her to pay the VSLA monthly subscription. Today she boasts of her improved life style due to their poultry project which they started in May 2021.
Mvelaphanda Poultry Project was formed in 2021. The group is made up of 20 members of which four are males and 16 are females.
The group started their poultry project in may 2021 with an assistance of 125 chicken and feed from ZRBF (PROGRESS).
The group managed to grow their project and have done four batches of chickens to date. Members received training from ZRBF (PROGRESS) on nutrition and methodology (group formation, leadership, constitution development, record keeping and loan appraisal) and are also saving and loaning out their funds at 10% interest.
The funds are also assisting in growing the project.
“Our group is contributing monthly subscriptions of R100 per member. Currently the group has more than R24 000 loans circulating within the members”, says Mrs Muleya.
The group through its good leadership and management skills have managed to divide the 20 members into sub group, in order to share responsibilities. Each sub group has 10 members who manage half the numbers of chickens ordered by the group. Members boast of their increased income through poultry and members are now able to buy nutritious foods for their families, productive assets and pay school fees and other academic expenses as well as other household expenses.
From the three chicken cycles, the group made R27 600 from sales. The group is doing well and members have future plans of diversifying their project to earn more income.
Caption: Mrs Raina Muleya (right) attends to her poultry project.