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RWA Zambia:Empowering Rural Women in Livestock Farming: A Successful Workshop by Zambia Rural Women’s Assembly

By Chipo Chiluma

On May 2024, the Zambia Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA) hosted a highly successful one-day workshop on livestock farming in Shibuyunji. The event brought together key stakeholders, including headmen, Agriculture Block Extension Officers (BOs), RWA members, teachers, and local villagers, to discuss and enhance knowledge on livestock management and fish farming as viable business ventures.

Workshop Highlights

The workshop focused on two main topics:

1. Fish Farming as a Business

2. Livestock Products: Goat Management and Chicken Rearing

Fish Farming as a Business: Insights from Mrs. Chikwanda

Mrs. Chikwanda delivered an insightful session on fish farming, emphasizing the importance of soil testing to ensure a safe environment for fish cultivation. Key points included:

– Constructing a one-meter ditch filled with clean, non-chlorinated water, left for 12-24 hours to test the sinking rate.

– Ensuring daily water changes for optimal fish growth and health.

– Utilizing locally available legume plants and other nutritious sources for fish feed.

Mrs. Chikwanda highlighted that proper fish farming can significantly improve the health and economic status of the community, with some fish species yielding harvests twice a year.

Goat Management and Breed Selection

The workshop also delved into goat management, focusing on selecting healthy and disease-resistant breeds that offer:

– High-quality milk production

– Optimal meat quantity and quality

Key Points on Goat Housing:

– Selection of sites with well-drained soil

– Proper roofing to protect against rain

– Elevated structures to prevent accumulation of waste

– Regular cleaning to prevent diseases such as pneumonia

Disease Control Methods:

– Regular spraying and deworming

Chicken Rearing: Best Practices by Mrs. Mendo

Mrs. Mendo provided valuable insights into chicken rearing, stressing the importance of controlling diseases like chicken pox and Newcastle disease. She also covered:

– Proper local feed preparation to ensure good nutrition

– Dissemination of information blockers to RWA members

Business Success Tips

The workshop also equipped farmers with essential business strategies, focusing on the 4 Ps: Place, Product, Promotion, and Price. Mrs. Mendo advised against selling products in raw form, encouraging simple local processing to add value. She also emphasized the importance of record keeping for tracking past performance and planning future strategies.

Closing Remarks

Headman Chilonga concluded the workshop with words of encouragement and gratitude. He commended the participants for their active involvement and the organizers for hosting an educational and impactful event. He urged continued efforts in organizing such workshops to foster business improvements within the community. The one-day workshop by the Zambia Rural Women’s Assembly stands as a testament to the power of knowledge sharing and community collaboration in advancing rural livelihoods. Through practical training and valuable insights, RWA continues to empower rural women, paving the way for sustainable development and economic growth in Zambia’s rural areas.

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