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newtimes - 1 month ago

FEATURED: One Acre Fund, Afrisol foster poultry business in Kayonza

One Acre Fund-Tubura, in partnership with Afrisol, has launched the third phase of the broiler chicken pilot project aimed at supporting farmers in Kayonza District improve their livelihoods through linking them to market and getting a good return on their investment. The event was held in Mukarange Sector of Kayonza District on Thursday, April 15. Through this collaboration, the two organisations will provide 22,800 day-old broiler chicks, accompanying feed, and medication to 40 farming families, who will grow them for 42 days (6 weeks). After this period, the chicken normally weigh some two kilograms each. These chicks will be provided to 40 farming families in three phases that will conclude by the end of this year, 2021. At the Thursday launch event, they received 200 chicks each, making 8,000 chicks in total. Through the partnership, Afrisol will buy back the broiler chickens, taking ownership for further processing and/or sale, thereby guaranteeing access to market for the families. One Acre Fund said it would reward farmers for every chicken that exceeds the minimum weight requirement through the Buy-Back Programme. One Acre Fund, known as Tubura in Rwanda, is a non-profit social enterprise whose service bundle provides farmers with financing and repayment flexibility, local input delivery, market facilitation, and reduced post-harvest losses. Easing farmers’ investment, profits Abias Kagaba, a resident of Mukarange Sector in Kayonza and one of the beneficiaries, said that in the second phase of the project, he got 250 chicks. Kagaba said that he could not afford to raise the investment required to run the business, explaining that 200 chickens consumed about a tonne of feed which cost Rwf400,000. A kilogramme of feed went for Rwf400. Still talking about investment, he said that one chick was valued at Rwf900, implying that 250 chicks cost Rwf180,000. Together, the investment in feed and chicks and their care amounted to over Rwf600,000. But, thanks to the interventions under the project, which include giving farmers chicks, feed, and veterinary services on credit, he said that he only invested Rwf48,000 to take care of the hens, including buying water for their consumption and materials to ensure they are in a warm environment. Kagaba testifies that he reaped good benefits from the poultry project. He is eager to continue venturing into the poultry business as it is profitable, especially when a stockbreeder has a ready market. He said that a chicken weighing over two kilograms was sold at Rwf3,500. “I earned Rwf241,000 in profit from the 250 chickens within just in six weeks. That is a profit I could not make from any other business,” he said, expressing the need to expand the project. He said that the proceeds he got helped him pay the school fees for his child, who is in secondary school, and that poultry helps improve his family’s nutrition.  Alpha Theogene Biziyaremye, another beneficiary said that market access is one of the main support that the farmers are getting from the project, which he said encourages them to grow their business, since there is a ready market for their products. “After the forty-second day, we get buyers for our chickens under the auspices of this project. Indeed, we don’t have a market issue,” he said. Expanding the project Evariste Bagambiki, Rwanda Communications Specialist, One Acre Fund-Tubura said that the project was aligned with the organisation’s innovative agenda of helping farmers raise income and productivity. He said that the three-phase project started in February 2020 with three farmers who were given 150 chicks in the first pilot. In the second pilot, nine farmers were given 2,000 chicks, then the third pilot where 40 farmers will get 22,800 this time around. Bagambiki said that next year (2022), they want to work with 500 farmers and give them 950,000 chicks. “In the second phase of the project, we realised that the average profit by a farmer was Rwf113,000 [in less than two months]. In this phase we have launched, we expect that the average income by a farmer will reach Rwf210,000,” he said, indicating that as the chickens increase, the farmer gets more profits. Ruvimbo Chikwawa, the Chief Executive Officer of Afrisol said that the firm guarantees farmers’ access to the market by buying their chickens and selling them for consumption by the larger population. “You realise that a lot of farmers who are out there have got capabilities to produce, but what they have not been able to do is to find a consistent off-taker of their produce. We then give them a fair price for their produce. We are coming on board to try and play our role in closing that gap,” he said. Jean-Damascene Harerimana, the vice mayor for social affairs in Kayonza District, commended the project, pointing out that poultry has an advantage. It does not require large farming space and helps farmers get income, tackle malnutrition through consumption of poultry products such as meat and eggs. “This project helps farmers run profitable poultry business in short period mainly as it enables farmers to get a ready market for their products,” he said. A poultry farmer (right) attending to 2-day-old chicks he received from One Acre Fund-Tubura and Afrisol broiler project in Mukarange Sector of Kayonza District on Thursday, April 15, 2021. A poultry farmer looks so delighted as he receives 2-day-old chicks from One Acre Fund-Tubura and Afrisol broiler project in Mukarange Sector of Kayonza District on Thursday, April 15, 2021. Participants in the One Acre Fund-Tubura and Afrisol broiler project listen to one of the beneficiaries (left) on Thursday, April 15, 2021 in Mukarange Sector of Kayonza District .


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