MASVINGO – Seventy small-scale entrepreneurs recently gathered at a hotel in Masvingo to attend a high-powered poultry business training workshop.
EBEN Hardware director, Benonia Machavuda said similar workshops have seen farmers growing from small scale to commercial producers of poultry within short periods of time.
The workshops are aimed at eradicating poverty in rural areas and to develop villagers into serious commercial farmers.
The trained farmers received certificates of attendance.
Fifteen of the farmers came from Gutu Central where more than 60 different groups are running chicken projects. Matthew Takaona hailed the initiative for equipping villagers with business skills.
The workshop which was organised by WEDO, an organisation that supports women brought experts from the banking, agriculture and retail sectors.
Topics covered included financial literacy (ensuring that farmers appreciate the need for budgets, targets, investment options, market trends and managing personal finances) the role of banks in promoting agribusiness, feeder to bird ratio and drinker to bird ratio and chicken stocking density.
AFC Commercial Bank Masvingo and Gweru regional manager Alice Jeke was the guest of honour while the programme was co-ordinated by WEDO country ambassador Angeline Zimbwani Mikiri. WEDO is a global movement with an aim to empower women in business.
Presenters came from AFC Bank, FIVET, EBEN Hardware and WEDO.
The theme of the workshop was: Eradicating Poverty through Poultry Production.
Jeke hailed EBEN Hardware for assisting farmers to grow through skills capacitating programmes.
“The organisation has an abiding and intense passion for the business growth of its clients especially with regards to animal production and hence does on the spot trainings as clients collect their chicks’ feed and medication,” said Jeke.
She said her bank has a role to expand banking and financial services across all customer segments, with special focus on small holder farmers.
“AFC Holdings Group strives to have financial products and services available and affordable to all individuals and businesses, that is financial inclusion,” she said.
Machavuda who is also WEDO ambassador for Masvingo added that the prime focus of her organisation is the girl child and women whom they assist in poverty eradication.
“WEDO’s prime focus is the girl child and women whom we assist in poverty eradication. We are happy that the poultry business training is growing in leaps and bounds. This year’s training concentrated on poultry production. We have realised that most of our farmers are into poultry production.
“There are farmers who have grown from small scale to commercial from the period we had our first training. There is an overwhelming demand for Sussex and Rainbow chicks,” she said.
AFC Masvingo branch manager Walter Mleya said, “Financial literacy is an important skill in the successful running of projects. A good farmer must be able to prepare budgets, set targets, understand investment options, analyse market trends and manage personal finances,” he said.
Fivet resident veterinarian Dr Betty Muyambo educated farmers on the importance of maintaining good chicken stocking density. She said the stocking density varies depending on area.
Fivet Masvingo Branch Supervisor Lincon Chingundu talked about feeder to bird ratio and drinker to bird ratio among other topics.