CHIKOMBA - Twenty four women in Ward 5, Manyene in Chikomba are running an egg layer project where they are getting 3000 eggs every day. The group, known as Ruzivo Small Holder Egg Production Initiative, started in March this year after a capital injection from TechnoSave, a Non-Governmental Organisation.

 

The chairperson of the project, Everjoy Chidewu, said the initiative has transformed their lives, economically and socially. "We are earning a living from this project and it has improved our standards of living. As pioneers in rearing egg layers, we never thought it could be as successful as it is now.  It has brought us together socially as we can meet not only for this business but we can also discuss social problems as women," said Chidewu. The chicken coop (their shelter) is at Anna Chitauro, a group member's homestead. The group had failed to secure a convenient place for them to erect one but Chitauro volunteered and provided space at her homestead. Every day, six members of the group meet at Chitauro's homestead to feed the chicken, clean the run, pick the eggs and monitor the well-being of the chickens. The chickens are giving them 100 crates of eggs which they deliver to Chivhu business organisations such as Chicken Inn, Sandcore, Hwena Supermarkets, among others, for sale. They also sell the eggs to the Manyene community.

Each crate is sold at $3. Chidewu said although the earnings are enough to sustain the projects on buying the feeds, chemicals and for them to realise a profit, they are seeking a bigger market to avoid losses since eggs are perishables. The agricultural extension officer of the area, Wonderful Kimbini said he is happy that the women managed to implement and grow the project despite their ages. He said, "the women are aged between 40 and 70 but they are successfully running the project.  They are very good role models to others who might want to start their projects." Ward 5 councillor, Joseph Muguti said the chicken project is a successful one, aimed at improving the people's living standards.  He said he has appealed to Chikomba West Member of Parliament's office for a borehole to be drilled for the group since the flock is too big for the available water sources. Chidewu thanked Chief Nyoka for his support to the group through constant supervision and motivation. "I also want to thank our facilitator, Ndukula Divine who provides technical know-how and encourages us to work hard. Our husbands also supported us by providing scotch carts and cattle for draught power when we were constructing the shelter for our chickens. Also, in this patriarchal society that we are living in, we commend our men for empowering us for us to be able to bring this project this far."

Chief Nyoka hailed the women who managed to fully implement the project. He said he is facilitating for all wards in his area to benefit from such self-sustenance projects. "It is good that the community find something to do for them to fend for themselves. We are still planning for a way forward so that other wards in my area also have projects that will see reduction of idleness in the community," Chief Nyoka said. agriculture news