There was great jubilation among Chilubi farmers with representation from all the three district’s geographical setting, Mainland, Island and the Swamps as 120 women and youths received over 800 improved Village Chickens.
This is under the Enhanced Smallholder Livestock Investment Programme (ESLIP).
The event was graced by Chilubi District Commissioner Gilbert Mwila in the company of District Fisheries and Livestock Coordinator Francis Chanda, acting Livestock Officer Danny Mwale and several other public service workers.
The event witnessed a total of 455 birds equitably distributed to 65 women and youths on the Mainland, 294 Chickens on the Island to 47 beneficiaries and 56 chickens to the Swamps.
The programme aims at enhancing smallholder livestock production and productivity through stocking and restocking of poor female headed household and youth as a pathway out of poverty by targeting over 28,000 farmers (60% women,20% youths and 20% mixed households).
The method of benefiting is by direct placement and pass on programme which covers selected districts in all provinces of Zambia.
When addressing farmers on the same event, Mr. Mwila urged all selected beneficiaries to work hard and become models both within and beyond the borders of Chilubi district.
The District Commissioner said the distribution of improved village chickens to selected livestock farmers across the district marked the beginning of improving livestock development, production and productivity in the district which he said is endowed with vast water resources and grazing area.
He described livestock subsector as one of the key drivers of the Zambian economy and hoped for receiving more empowerments of similar in nature and other Livestock type such as Goats, Beef animals and Pigs subject to the Ministers approval and guidance.
Mr. Mwila further commended Government under the able leadership of His Excellency Dr. Edgar Lungu for working towards actualizing the Strategic Development Plan of the 7NDP which aims at Accelerating Development Efforts Towards Vision 2030 Without Leaving Anyone Behind.
“The goal aims at creating a diversified and resilient economy for sustained growth and socio economic transformation driven by Agriculture, Tourism and Mining,” he said.
Mr. Mwila further advised farmers to continue adhering to Public Health Guidelines as given by the Ministry of Health in combating the spread against COVID-19 pandemic such as avoiding crowded places, regular hand washing with soap, hand-sanitizing and social distancing.
When asked for a comment during the same event, Chilubi District Fisheries and Livestock Coordinator Francis Chanda, appealed to selected beneficiaries to put in extra effort in attaining the overall scope of ESLIP by applying the skills and knowledge acquired during the farmers training program on basic livestock management practices and animal health/disease control.
He said this is in order to successfully realize the pass on programme aimed at reducing poverty and vulnerability by improving farmers socio economic status and improved food and nutrition security at both household and national level.
He also encouraged farmers to work in close partnership with the District’s Fisheries and Livestock Office for guidance and support on any technical issues.
Mr. Chanda also used the opportunity to call on the government to address some of the challenges the Ministry was facing in the district such as limited staff and lack of both land and water transport in order to enhance extension service delivery and monitoring of the distributed animals in the district.