MIDLANDS State University (MSU)’s department of animal and wildlife science has embarked on community-based income-generating projects, which will see the institution helping communities in guinea fowl production.
By Stephen Chadenga
According to MSU, the project was launched after it emerged that most communities had no financial resources to initiate business ventures, hence, the need to assist them with projects that require low capital investments.
MSU said the project is part of efforts by the institution to operationalise the government’s ZimAsset economic blueprint.
“Upon realising that the majority of small-holder communities that had been targeted for community engagement projects by the university, did not have sufficient financial resources needed to start up viable income generating activities, guinea fowl production emerged as a feasible alternative aimed at addressing issues of food security and nutrition as well as poverty eradication as outlined in the ZimAsset blueprint,” MSU said in a statement.
To kickstart the project, the institution bought guinea fowl eggs from communal farmers in Gokwe North and placed them in artificial incubators at its laboratories.
Some of the eggs will be distributed for natural incubation by indigenous hens at MSU Gwomututu Community Engagement Centre in Mberengwa.
The first phase of the project is expected to produce more than 600 hatchlings, which will be distributed among small-scale farmers.
According to experts guinea fowls have high productivity, as they lay between 100 and 200 eggs per season. The birds also easily adapt to difficult environmental conditions and they are resilient to most fowl diseases.