Our organization, Impact Integrated Agro-enterprises, is guided by a mission to save and multiply the endangered indigenous animal breeds through engaging local communities that still have traces of these animals.
For the past six years, we’ve made keen observations about the growing interest in exotic breeds of chicken at the expense of the local breeds. This came into existence because of government projects introduced to fight poverty, hunger, and malnutrition largely focused on the amount of eggs and meat that could be produced by the poultry keepers. These projects broadly neglected the great value associated with our local breeds of chicken.
- Spiritual & cultural values
- High compatibility with local environments
- High resistance to adverse climate and diseases
- Non-selective feeding behavior
- Tasteful/delicious food products (eggs and meat)
- High medicinal values associated with the eggs, meat, and feathers
As a result, and in the recent past, we began a mobilization to identify which people in our communities still had the traditional breeds and how they were coping with challenges from the new breeds. Interestingly, there were few households where local breeds were preferred due to high costs, almost three times the new commercial breeds. For these reasons, we made a decision to slowly but steadily grow the advocacy for revamping the multiplication and expansion of the traditional chicken breeds by:
- Household identification, sensitization, and training (150 households from 10 villages).
- Identification and procurement of the varieties of Indigenous chickens from the villages.
- Preparing the households with facilities to rear and multiply the Indigenous chicken.
- Supplying the breeding stock of Indigenous chicken to 150 households.
- Raising the indigenous chicken according to the required husbandry practices.
- Incubation of the hatchable eggs to start the chicken multiplication at the household level.
- Brooding the hatched chicks at household levels.
- Expansion to more households to participate in rearing the indigenous chicken.
- Establishing a communal market for supplying and sale of the indigenous chicken (chicks and adults), eggs, feathers, and meat to meet the cultural/spiritual/nutritional needs of the community.
- Monitoring and evaluation of the project as an on-going concern.
- In the presence of fast-moving scientific discoveries and genetically modified organisms, this project serves to provide a viable alternative for those who wish to consider alternatives.
- Low domestic incomes and poverty at the household level raise demands for more profitable investments.
- Serious malnourishment amongst children, responsible for poor health, physical stunting, and poor mental development.
- Under COVID-19, many households are increasingly burdened with the problem of feeding children; there is a need for a better source of nutrition and a balanced diet.
- Local chicken keeping is a good activity for children that introduces them to farming practices and keeps them occupied during the limitations that COVID-19 presents.
Indigenous/local people (household members) of the villages who engage in the project will benefit directly from it. Additionally, the users of the chicken products will include the traditional/spiritual healers and nutritionists.
- Better nutrition at family and community level and thus better health and productivity.
- Improved domestic income and increased social services to put families in a better place to meet their basic needs.
- Greater support for children in school.
- Emancipation of women to participate in social affairs and decision making.
- Harmonizing human life with spiritual powers.
The success of this project will serve as a model for the rest of the world as a reminder that the world is naturally endowed with physical and spiritual materials to support and sustain life. It will rekindle lost beliefs and re-energize those efforts that have gone unnoticed due to suffocation by modern innovations/inventions.