The aim of this project is to train and empower women and children affected and infected by HIV/AIDS to move from basic poultry rearing for home consumption to a smallholder poultry farming production system that supports home consumption and profits from the sale of eggs.
Each family will receive four locally bred hens and one exotic cock for the purpose of getting better egg yield. A common problem for poultry farmers is disease and the premature death of chickens that have not been vaccinated. By supplying each family with vaccinated chickens, general understanding of chicken health, and skills and supplies to administer vaccine to the chickens, it is expected that one of the greatest obstacles to making money from smallholder poultry farming will be thwarted. In addition to protecting the livestock from disease, it is important to provide the chickens with adequate diet and shelter. In doing so, the participants will rely on the traditional method for poultry feed – scavenging. Supplemental feed (locally purchased) will be provided to each participant, creating a semi-scavenging production method. It is ideal, however, for the chickens to rely heavily on scavenging for diet.
Each family, along with participating TASO Mbale staff, will undergo a thorough training in smallholder poultry farming; the following topics will be covered: understanding common chicken diseases, administering vaccines, supplementing scavenge-fed chickens with supplemental feed, building a “house” for the chickens, getting the product (eggs) to market, marketing strategies, basic business skills, reporting parameters of the project, expectations of project, project prospects and possibilities. At the training workshop, each family will receive a detailed manual on smallholder poultry production. The manual to be distributed was compiled by the UN FAO (Download the manual).
The chickens are to be reared as egg layers, not broilers. Considering the consistent local market demand for eggs, with the proper maintenance and care of the chickens and responsible, informed marketing and sales, each participating family should make enough money to attain an acceptable level of food security and purchase other basic necessities. One egg is sold for about 150 USh. in Mbale. One viable market for the eggs will be TASO Mbale. Each clinic day, TASO Mbale provides tea and snack to clients; the snacks are prepared with eggs. TASO Mbale will commit to purchase eggs from these families. In addition, it is expected that participants will be able to sell their eggs in their respective communities/villages.
Finally, to ensure the proper sale and distribution of the participants’ products (eggs), each family will receive a bicycle. Without access to reliable transportation, which most of these families lack, participation in this project would be difficult; therefore, bicycles will be provided. In addition to contributing to the success of the poultry project, the bicycles will also provide these families with reliable transportation to TASO Mbale for appointments, to school, to the hospital, etc. The chickens and supplies (supplemental feed, bicycle, and vaccines) will be purchased and distributed to the families by TASO (with funds from the Poultry Project), to ensure that the allocated funds are used appropriately.