/Women poultry farmers embrace green technologies to improve productivity and profitability in poultry production

Women poultry farmers embrace green technologies to improve productivity and profitability in poultry production

The Inclusive Poultry Value Chain project is contributing to inclusive green economy in Zimbabwe by piloting with poultry value chain actors the use of green technologies in poultry production. The goal is to reduce carbon footprint from poultry enterprises through promoting use of renewable energy technologies. To date, the pilot has seen the installation of over 52 green technologies to lead farmers across all project clusters (Harare, Masvingo, Gweru, Bulawayo and Mutare). These technologies include biogas, solar lighting, solar incubators, rocket stove and solar powered tricycles/scooters.

Solar Lighting system

Pauline Tauro, aged 41, from Seke, used to work for the Ministry of Agriculture and resigned in 2018 due to poor remuneration. After her resignation, she failed to secure a job and decided the venture into agriculture. Initially she wanted to practise horticulture, however the water requirement for horticulture was high and could not afford it, she decided to do poultry production.

Pauline joined the IPVC project and subsequently the Poultry Direct Business Association in 2019, during the project inception, while she was doing batches of 150 broilers.

Through training and sharing information with other poultry farmers in the association, she was encouraged to grow her poultry project to realise more profit. At inception her fowl run capacity was 400 birds, therefore, to increase her poultry capacity she had to invest in more poultry units. Currently, her units can now carry up to 2000 birds and her broiler capacity is 200 every month.
In March 2020 Pauline decided to expand to dual purpose breeds (sasso c431). She had her first batch in April 2020 during the COVID-19 lock down. She started with 200-day old chicks of Sasso and after a month was pleased with the performance of the flock and purchased 500 more chicks of the same breed. At 12 weeks she sold her batch to finance the other flock. She further started selling table eggs and later realised that she could get more money through selling fertilized eggs. Table eggs were selling at $3 at that time whilst fertilized eggs ranged from $6-$10 a crate, therefore increasing profit margins.
Through the intervention of IPVC, in November 2020 she benefited from the project’s green technologies pilot and received a 500-capacity egg incubator, allowing her to produce day old chicks as well as hatch and sell to other farmers.

“The incubator has greatly changed my story. On the same 500 eggs, if sold as table eggs l get $66.66 @ $4 a crate and if sold as fertilized eggs l get $99.99 @ $6 a crate and if incubated at a hatch rate of 60% I get $195 @ $0.65 per chick.” said Pauline.

Pauline Tauro

Pauline participated in the feed formulation training courses and now feed her chickens through crops she grows. Pauline is one of the project’s lead farmers who received inputs for own feed formulation. The inputs included maize seed, soya bean seed, pesticides, and other chemicals. To date, she has formulated a total of 5 tonnes which include starter 2 tonnes, grower 1 tonnes and finisher 1 tonne from which she harvested 5 tonnes of maize and 1.5 tonnes of soya.
Pauline says she is saving a total of USD $140 per every tonne of feed formulated, as compared to buying straight feed from the retailers. Now, she has managed to reach out to 64 farmers in her area and has trained them on own-feed formulation.