Jenifer lives in a small rural village about 30 miles from Ndola. She and her family have endured “hunger periods” for many years – they could not grow enough food to sustain them throughout the full year. Jenifer wanted to grow cabbages, and obtained all the information to satisfy her UK partner that this was a profitable “business”. She then received a loan for 1,000 Kwacha (approximately £130). After 7 months, Jenifer sold her cabbages at market for 3,600 Kwacha – a profit of 260%. The loan was then passed on to the next “beneficiary”, leaving Jenifer with 2,600 Kwacha. Jenifer is now looking to extend her maize crop as well as growing tomatoes, which is, potentially, even more profitable than cabbages. We would hope she and her family will always have food for the table.
An estimated 14% of Zambian adults are HIV positive. Although drugs are available the stigma of the disease often stops sufferers from acknowledging it and the drug treatments are ineffective without adequate nutrition.
ZaRP is helping a group of HIV positive women living near Choma in Southern Zambia support themselves by rearing broiler chickens and selling them to the local school and clinic and in the market place. ZaRP lent the group 5,000 Kwacha (£600) over a period of months to build a basic chicken house and purchase the young chicks, feed and vaccines and other necessities to rear up to 200 broiler chicks. The group is making sufficient profits to be on track to repay the money within a year.
The group can then eat some of the chickens and use the profits from others to meet their own nutritional needs and reinvest the excess in other projects.
Once the loan has been paid back it will be lent to other groups for new food projects.
Located in the Copperbelt about 30km east of Luanshya. The project chosen was broiler chickens, with a loan of 3,000 Kwacha (£390 approx) in 2 installments over 12 months for 3 villages with a population of approx 750.
The objective was to establish a thriving community poultry project which would then be in a position to pay back the loan of 3,000 Kwacha which in turn would then be re-invested to establish garden projects for the more vulnerable and for the community to work together sharing knowledge, resources and skills.
The Kafulafuta Community had been formed as a co-operative almost 40 years ago, back in the 70’s when the Israelis had been involved, helping the area to establish co-operative farming. What has been left is a good basis for co-operative working practice.
2 members from the co-operative committee signed the loan agreement. It took about 8 weeks to establish the business plan and for the community to work out their costs and for the UK/Zambian partners to agree a loan and payback agreement. Housing, chick rearing, transportation, vaccination and labour were the areas that required the most time to
establish. But the time it took was also a good opportunity to establish a sound rapport and trust with the Zambian partners.
Communication has worked well and has been done by text message to arrange a weekly or twice monthly call. Alick, my contact, was able to arrange with a friend in Luanshya to pick up email when he was visiting. Telephone contact was approx 30 mins 2-3 times a month in the first few months. Once the project was up and running I, as a UK partner, spent 2-3 hours a month on updates and emails.
It was a surprise to be involved with chickens as I had no previous experience of poultry
and it was a fun challenge learning as the project commenced. It was also great to receive a phone call of thanks when the members had bought their first 100 chicks to start the project. Some of the members in the community had been on poultry training courses in Ndola and already had a firm idea of what they wanted to establish and how they were going to achieve it. Broiler chickens are quick growing and from chick to selling at market it can take as little as 6 weeks to start seeing a return for their efforts.
The cost for a 100 broiler chicks is 370 Kwacha and 100 mature broilers can be sold for 2,500 kwacha. There are a number of additional costs for each cycle which include feed, vaccinations and transport to market which amount to approximately 1,200 kwacha. After 6-7 cycles of chicks the community can start to re-invest some of their profits in other areas of the community by establishing garden projects i.e potatoes, cabbages etc.