Agri-business

6,000 farmers benefit from Heifer project

KALONDE NYATI – Lusaka
ABOUT 6,000 farmers in Kalulushi and Mufurila are benefiting from the US$2.7 million promotion of small holder access to markets programme that aims at providing small-holder farmers with dairy animals and enhance access to markets.
The programme being implemented by Heifer International Zambia, Department for International Development (DFID) and Oxfam is also aimed at strengthening the capacity of dairy cooperatives.
Heifer International Zambia country manager James Kasongo said the programme, which started in May and ends in 2017, has since provided 150 dairy animals under the ‘pass on the gift’ model.
Mr Kasongo said in an interview on Wednesday that the farmers are also being equipped with knowledge on how to prevent animal diseases and access to markets.
“At household level, farmers are being trained in how to make profits from milking their animals and keeping records from breeding, milking and sales, and ensure they make a profit of about K500. At cooperative level, capacity is being enhanced to make them operate profitability, and are being provided with milk collection tanks,” he said.
Mr Kasongo said cooperatives are also being linked to dairy processing companies to ensure market availability.
Meanwhile, Mr Kasongo said Heifer International Zambia is next week expected to provide 40 heifers and 300 goats to farmers in Mwansabombwe as part of its programme to restock the district with livestock.
“More goats will be provided to farmers in the district so that we can eliminate the belief that livestock cannot be reared in the district”, he said.
Mr Kasongo said the organisation has this year provided heifers, diary and draft cattle, and goats and market access to 15,000 households in Eastern, Copperbelt, Southern, Luapula and Central provinces.

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