31 July 2014

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State hails Heifer for C/B rural empowerment

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From KATEBE CHENGO in Masaiti
GOVERNMENT has commended Heifer International for its efforts in promoting livestock farming and its focus on improving household food security among rural communities on the Copperbelt.
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Livestock Luxon Kazabu said as the province continues to diversify from mining to agriculture, the sector needs to be supported to increase production of beef, milk and other livestock products.

Mr Kazabu said this when Heifer International in conjunction with an American organisation, Elanco, handed over 68 dairy cattle worth K200million to 64 families of Kamisenga Dairy Co-operative in Masaiti on Thursday.
He said it is encouraging that women are in the forefront of the co-operatives because it is a sign of achieving gender equality.
“This enhancement of women’s capacity to participate in national development is an effective way of alleviating poverty and hunger because they are the custodians of homes and they know what their families lack,” he said.
And Heifer International country director James Kasongo said his organisation is ready to work with various stakeholders to empower needy but viable communities to have dignified sustainable livelihoods.
“We want to help rural communities have better lives through capacity building in integrated agriculture, enterprise development, gender equity, good governance through provision of appropriate livestock and other resources while mitigating the impact of HIV/AIDS and climate change,” Mr Kasongo said.
He said the Kamisenga project would not have been possible without government’s support through the Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock, Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Development, Mother and Child Health.
Mr Kasongo said Heifer has since 1997 worked in eight districts on the Copperbelt, where it has empowered over 13,000 families through provision of livestock, promoting nutrition and vegetable production as well as HIV/AIDS sensitisation.
He said fighting hunger and poverty does not entail people always depending on alms but to use readily available resources to sustain their livelihoods.
“I challenge you to emulate our brothers and sisters worldwide who, too, have experienced hunger and poverty but worked hard using locally available resources to better their lives and secured the future for their children,” he said.
And speaking on behalf of the farmers, Jacqueline Chisupa thanked Heifer and Elanco for helping the people in the area to change their business activities from illicit beer brewing and charcoal burning to dairy cattle farming.

 

Last modified on Saturday, 03 November 2012 13:51

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