By Jonas Miselo, NAIS Samfya

The Ministry of Fisheries and Livestock in Samfya District has changed its approach in the goat pass-on-gift intervention area to make the programme more effective and sustainable to the beneficiaries.

Samfya District Veterinary Officer (DVO) Dr. Kenneth Chawinga noted that the initial approach of the goat pass-on-gift intervention was not effective as beneficiaries sometimes did not pass on the kids to other beneficiaries thus introducing the idea of setting up a livestock multiplication centre to be run by a farmer’s cooperative.

“Currently the model of the pass on gift is that straight from sourcing goats, we distribute the female ones (nannies) to beneficiaries that are identified by the district staff during training. Now the flaw we've recognised is that the district staff is not best suited to identify the initial and subsequent beneficiaries of female kids,” he said.

The DVO added that the Ministry has since recognised an established and serious group to be the custodians of the goats on behalf of the district hence role of the district staff will be relegated to when the goats start kidding the farmers will identify those to pass on based on seriousness they attach to livestock rearing.

Dr. Chawinga further observed that keeping the goats in one place will help them adapt to the new environment under the watch of farmers that already have knowledge in basic animal husbandry techniques and supervision.

He also pointed out that the goat multiplication centre will act as a practical teaching centre for other farmers willing to improve their skills in small livestock husbandry.

“Additionally, we've had projects that have come before with such initiatives, but immediately the project cycle expires, there's nothing to point at as achievements. We would like this to continue long after the 1st 1000 Most Critical Days Programme is over and to move from just preventing stunting to a sustainable alternative livelihood… in view of the major economic stay (fishing) slowing down due to depletion of fish stocks, “Dr. Chawinga pointed out.

And Samfya District Nutrition Support Coordinator (DNSC) Alexander Mwape said the new approach in goat distribution is a step into the right direction as it will make the intervention more effective.

“This will help mitigate stunting in the district as the rearing of small livestock makes it also possible for beneficiaries to practice integrated farming,” he said.

Mr. Mwape further reiterated the National Food and Nutrition Commission’s commitment to reducing stunting in the District.

“According to the baseline survey stunting before the programme started in the country in 2013 stunting in Zambia stood at 45% but now as a country we are at 40% which is clearly a demonstration of reducing levels of stunting in the country,” he added.

Meanwhile Chitundwa Farmer Group chairperson Mr. Itus Kunda said the goat multiplication centre initiative is a welcome move to the community in Chitundwa ward.

“We are happy with the construction of the goat multiplication centre as we have never seen such a thing and with time we have started realising the goodness of this goat multiplication centre and how it will help us.”

Samfya is currently one of the 14 districts in the country implementing the First 1000 Most Critical Days Programme which aims to reduce stunting and malnutrition in the country.


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